Johns racked with guilt over racial slur - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Johns racked with guilt over racial slur

21/06/2010 10:40:54 PM Comments (0)

Former rugby league great Andrew Johns admitted he was racked with guilt over the racial slur controversy, saying he felt disturbed watching the second State of Origin because of the impact it had on the NSW team and players he offended.

Speaking at length for the first time since his racist comments saw Timana Tahu walk out on the Blues' Origin camp two weeks ago, former NSW assistant coach Johns said the incident had shaken him up.

"It (the second Origin) was so hard to watch because there were so many emotions going through me because I had so much guilt," Johns told the Austereo Network, with whom he commentates.

"One - I took Timana's opportunity of playing State of Origin away from him ... also I put unwanted pressure on the camp and other players and also I insulted a legend like Greg Inglis."

Amongst other things Johns had described Queensland's Inglis as a "black c***" at NSW's north coast pre-Origin II camp.

Johns said while he'd had a 15-minute conversation with Tahu he needed to speak with he and Inglis again very soon.

"This is something we have to sit down and work out through mediation, and we have to do it hopefully sooner rather than later and put this all to bed so he (Tahu) can move forward with his footy career and I can move forward with my life."

He described Tahu as very much the victim and that he'd copped plenty "but brought it on myself".

Johns said he was not aware of any other specific racist incidents over the years that he had been involved in but would not comment on a suggestion that racism was rife in other areas of rugby league.

"I think everyone has learned a lesson that it doesn't matter where you are or in what environment you can't use these kind of comments," he said.

Johns remained unsure about his future in the media and with coaching but indicated for his family's sake he would stick with the game.

"I get through it, unfortunately I've been through things like this before and I know what's coming," said Johns, who had a very public coming out after admitting to using recreational drugs for most of his career as well as being bipolar.

"It's the pressure I put on my family that knocks me round the most."

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