SMH – David Polkinghorne
Canberra Raiders five-eighth Blake Austin has called on everyone to pay more respect to the NRL referees – fans, players, coaches, everyone involved with the game.
Austin said he wouldn’t want to be spat on and pointed out referee Ashley Klein was someone’s son, and potentially someone’s father, and they should be treated with respect.
A Raiders member was ejected from the ground after he spat in the direction of the match officials as they went down the race at half-time of the Penrith game at Canberra Stadium on Sunday.
He had his membership cancelled after the game and was also given a 12-month ban from Canberra Stadium on Monday.
With the Raiders set to host their final home game of 2017 against the Newcastle Knights, Austin said everyone needed to accept the referees as a crucial part of the game.
“I think everyone needs to respect the referees a little more. We can’t have games of footy without them,” he said.
“At the end of the day there’s two teams going to battle and whatever calls go against you you’re probably not going to be happy with.
“But that act is certainly not on and that’s someone’s father and someone’s son.
“I certainly wouldn’t want anyone spitting on me as I’m coming off the field. As a club we don’t support that at all.”