Stood down Bulldogs duo Corey Harawira-Naera and Jayden Okunbor have been branded “incredibly dumb” for dragging the NRL and their club into disrepute.
Veteran NRL commentator and former Western Suburbs coach Roy Masters on Sunday morning said he hoped NRL officials were considering life bans for the pair as the game continues to decid`e what disciplinary action will be taken.
Harawira-Naera and Okunbor’s futures hang in the balance, as the NRL and Canterbury investigate allegations they brought two young females back to a hotel last month.
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The two have already been provisionally stood down by the NRL and club, and will not train or play with the team until the investigation is complete after being handed a breach notice.
There were preliminary reports the NRL is considering a minimum suspension of 10 matches.
However, Masters on Sunday morning told ABC’s Offsiders he hopes the NRL takes more severe action.
When asked if they should play again, Masters said: “Hopefully not. While they didn’t commit anything illegal and it was consensual sex, they committed the great sin of being incredibly dumb. You can’t be much dumber than they were.
“They just seem oblivious to history. Oblivious to everything that’s gone on.”
The Age’s Malcolm Knox on Sunday also roasted the pair, claiming they had made fools out of their coach, teammates and club.
Despite a whole-hearted effort to move on from the club’s long list of past public scandals, the Bulldogs remain unable to shed their reputation for misbehaviour off the football field.
The latest alleged incident brings that past back to the surface.
“They made fools of the NRL and its message of respect for women,” Knox wrote in his Sunday column.
“They made fools of those members of the public who believe and accept the message that rugby league players routinely disrespect women. They made fools of the Women in League, and for that matter the Men in League.”
Screenshots of a conversation between Okunbor and a girl published in the Sydney Morning Herald show that she was a student from a school he visited that day in Port Macquarie on a club visit.
They also show the Bulldogs winger asking her what she was doing that night, before she responded “you”.
An angry NRL CEO Todd Greenberg earlier said the incident was “completely unacceptable” and would “not be tolerated”.
“Part of being a first grade player is being a role model,” Greenberg said on Wednesday night.
“Respect for women is a fundamental aspect of our training courses from rookies to elite players.
“That’s why we took immediate action in provisionally suspending both players allegedly involved in the matters under investigation.
“Rest assured, if these breaches are sustained the players will face significant sanctions which will both meet community expectation, and send a message to every single player in our game.”
— with AAP
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