• Tyrone Peachey will follow through with allegations he was racially abused by Newcastle forward Mitchell Barnett. (AAP)Source: AAP
The Gold Coast star says he's making a statement to call out racism as the NRL investigates an alleged slur by Newcastle forward Mitchell Barnett in Friday night's match.
By
Jodan Perry

Source:
NITV News
26 Sep 2020 - 11:16 AM  UPDATED 28 Sep 2020 - 5:43 PM

Tyrone Peachey will pursue claims he was racially vilified by Newcastle forward Mitchell Barnett in the second half of the Titans win over the Knights last night.

Fox League showed vision of the incident in the post-match, where Peachey can be seen lunging towards Barnett following a tackle.

The Titans scored soon after and Peachey then approached referee Chris Sutton and said: "That back-rower just called me a black c--t".

Sutton then asked Peachey a number of times if he wanted to make an official complaint but in the moment Peachy declined.

Speaking to News Corp today, Peachey said he has an obligation to follow through with it.

“I know exactly what I heard and that’s why I reacted the way I did ... It can be put down to ignorance, heat of the competition or lack of education. Either way I won’t stand for it," he said.

“Barnett could have called me anything else and it wouldn’t have bothered me, but for him to say what he said, I want him and everyone else to know that those things are not ok to say.

“I’m making a statement in hope to educate and to make sure others know it’s not ok and to call out racism.”

Peachey, a proud Wiradjuri man from the New South Wales country town of Wellington, said he has an obligation to his community to speak up.

“I need to be a role model to young Indigenous kids and for my two daughters and make sure they know it’s not ok to let people say those remarks." he told News Corp.

Zero tolerance

The alleged abuse comes just days after the governing body finished an investigation into a similar incident involving Penrith star Brent Naden last month. The 24-year-old accepted the apology of the fan that directed the racial abuse towards him in a match on the Central Coast.

The National Rugby League chose not to suspend the fan involved.

NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said the governing body will be doing everything it can to resolve the latest incident.

"We will speak to all parties involved in order to get to the bottom of the allegations and ensure a fair and respectful process for all," he said.

"Player welfare is our absolute priority. We will do everything we can to make sure our players feel safe and supported. Any form of racism or vilification will not be tolerated in our game."

The Gold Coast Titans have backed their player, with CEO Steve Mitchell saying Peachey's welfare is priority.

"Our immediate focus is Tyrone Peachey as the impact of an event like this can have a toll on the individual. Tyrone has our absolute support," he said.

“We’re extremely proud of our Indigenous heritage.  The Titans have the highest number of Indigenous players in our top 30 roster of any club in the NRL.  The contribution of Indigenous players to our Club both on and off the field cannot be understated.”

The Newcastle Knights also released a statement saying "the player accused of the these comments denies making any racial remarks or slurs."

The club is assisting the investigation by the NRL and also conducting its own internal inquiries.

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