Racial slur not isolated: Tahu - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Racial slur not isolated: Tahu

By Steve Jancetic 14/06/2010 08:12:19 PM Comments (0)

The racism row engulfing State of Origin II escalated on Monday night with Timana Tahu revealing the slur which prompted him to walk out on the NSW side was not an isolated incident.

Tahu took the extraordinary step of releasing a video statement via his NRL side Parramatta in which he refuted suggestions it was just one comment from assistant coach Andrew Johns which led to his stunning exit from the Blues camp on Friday afternoon.

Johns - who stepped down from his role with NSW on Saturday night as a result of the furore - is alleged to have called Greg Inglis a "black c***" when referring to the Queensland centre during a team gathering on Wednesday night.

But Tahu said the racial vilification went much further than the one-off comment, plunging the Blues into even greater crisis as they do their best to concentrate on avoiding a fifth straight series loss in Brisbane on Wednesday night.

"Leaving Origin was a big decision for me and I want to clarify that it was not just one racial comment directed at one individual that affected me," Tahu said in the prepared video statement.

"The remarks were directed at various races and the situation I encountered was totally unacceptable.

"I believe I'm a role model for children and I did this to show my kids this sort of behaviour is wrong.

"This isn't about me or Andrew Johns, it's about arresting racism and standing up for my beliefs. I want to move on now and I know something positive will happen."

In reply to Tahu's comments, Johns' management team issued their own statement late Monday night.

"In view of Andrew Johns having previously apologised sincerely and unreservedly for his inappropriate and offending remarks we see no need to comment further," the statement read.

While there is no chance Tahu will return to the Blues for Wednesday night's match, NSW coach Craig Bellamy said he supported the dual international being reinstated for the series finale if his form warranted selection.

Johns it seems is unlikely to have any involvement going forward, and while the Nine Network said they would stand by their commentator, it is believed News Limited - for whom Johns writes a column - are weighing up his involvement with the company.

Either way Johns' reputation has copped a hammering, a situation he is all too familiar with following his sensational admission in 2007 that used recreational drugs through the majority of his NRL career.

Gold Coast veteran Preston Campbell - who was a driving force behind the establishment of the inaugural Indigenous All-Stars game against the NRL All-Stars earlier this year, admitted Johns would find it difficult to overcome this latest drama.

"We can forgive but you're never going to forget something like that," Campbell said of Johns' comments.

"Joey's going to have it over his head for a long time."

Tahu is believed to be staying with family in Newcastle but is expected to return to Parramatta training on Wednesday.

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