Police over-reacted to Thurston: Beetson - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Police over-reacted to Thurston: Beetson

By Jim Morton 16/09/2010 02:25:11 PM Comments (0)

Rugby league immortal Arthur Beetson says Johnathan Thurston must set a better example to indigenous children after being locked up on Thursday morning.

Beetson labelled the police's decision to arrest an intoxicated Thurston in Brisbane as a massive overreaction but said the representative halfback still needed to pick up his act.

The Test and Queensland halfback apologised to fans on returning to Townsville on Thursday after being released from the Brisbane watchhouse.

Thurston's public nuisance charge came less than 24 hours after he was honoured to launch voting for the Indigenous All Stars team for next year's NRL season-opener.

"He's got to be a little smarter," Beetson told AAP.

"He's got to understand whether you like it or not young Aboriginal kids, and not only young Aboriginal kids but young Australians, are looking at him and they hold him in high esteem.

"Part of his sponsorship is to work with indigenous people and he's got to understand that's where some of his money comes from.

"He's got to think that there's kids out there who look up to him a lot and he's a bit of a role model."

At a time he's nursing an ankle injury and racing to be fit for next month's Four Nations, Thurston was kicked out of the Treasury Casino at 3.40am (AEST) for harassing other patrons with his crutch.

The North Queensland captain was then arrested after wrestling with another Townsville footballer, Nathan Daly, and failing to follow police orders.

Beetson, the inaugural Queensland Origin skipper and successful former Maroons coach, was upset what he deemed a minor incident was blown out of proportion.

"It wasn't as though he stabbed someone or glassed someone or shitted in someone's backyard," said the former Balmain and Roosters great.

"I think the press has overreacted and I think the coppers have had a brain snap too.

"He should have been rapped over the knuckles and sent home.

"Fair dinkum, I have plenty of respect for the police but geez the old coppers would be turning around and rolling over in their grave.

"In the old days you would have got a kick up the arse."

Beetson admitted Thurston's antics had done his Four Nations hopes no favours, nor his chances of holding onto the Cowboys captaincy.

"It doesn't sound good, because he's been given a bit of a work out by the sounds of it - it was a harmless wrestle

"(But) he's a bloody great player. He's one of the best I've ever seen and he's one of the most competitive blokes I've ever seen."

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