PARRAMATTA NRL star Timana Tahu claims his ‘own people’ are out to get him after he was accused of racially abusing a teenage Aboriginal player at the weekend.
Tahu allegedly called a 16-year-old boy playing for Lismore-based Northern United a ‘black c...’ during a fiery indigenous knockout tournament match at Woy Woy on the NSW Central Coast.
The 29-year-old has strenuously denied he made the comment.
“These accusations that are happening are laughable,” Tahu told the Nine Network.
“There was a lot of trash talk with both sides ... but I never heard any racial slurs.
“It’s something that I’m very shocked at, my own people are out to get me.”
The accusation comes just four months after the dual international stormed out of a NSW State of Origin camp in protest at league great Andrew Johns using the same insult to describe Queensland star Greg Inglis.
Tahu also denied being a hypocrite.
“People are going to say that,” he said. “I stood up for that reason and I walked out on an Origin jumper and that’s something I take pride in.”
The Australian Rugby League Indigenous Council will investigate the claims, with chairman William ‘Smiley’ Johnstone seeking to meet both parties.
The Northern Star’s attempts to contact Tahu through his club were not successful again yesterday.
However, Tahu told Sydney media through his lawyer that he ‘repeatedly and strenuously’ denied the claims.
Northern United allegesTahu racially vilified members of its side while he was playing for the Newcastle Yowies – a game the Yowies won.
Northern United coach Chris Binge said he didn’t believe any racist taunts were directed at Tahu from players in his side.
The club yesterday stood by its claims, with secretary Grantley Creighton saying a letter of complaint would be sent to the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League, which would then refer the matter to the Country Rugby League.
CRL chief executive Terry Quinn believed if a complaint was received by the CRL it would be dealt with jointly with the Australian Rugby League Indigenous Council.
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