• Corey Tutt (with green headgear on) surrounded by his teammates after scoring a try during the game. (Supplied. )Source: Supplied.
A racial abuse complaint is set to be lodged with the NSW Rugby Union as a former Wallaby calls on the national governing body to do more to stamp out racist incidents.
By
Douglas Smith

Source:
NITV News
26 Jul 2021 - 5:36 PM  UPDATED 26 Jul 2021 - 5:41 PM

An Aboriginal rugby player said he was left "shattered" after being allegedly racially abused at a match in Kempsey on July 17.

Kamilaroi man and former NSW Young Australian of the Year Corey Tutt took to Twitter to condemn a racist attack he received from a spectator during a game against the Kempsey Cannonballs. 

Mr Tutt, who plays for the Port Macquarie Pirates, wrote he had the “pleasure” of being called a “half-caste c**t” by the spectator, who also allegedly threatened him with physical violence. 

It is unknown if the spectator was a fan of the Kempsey team or just a passer-by. 

Speaking to NITV News on Monday, Mr Tutt said the incident left him feeling so upset that he stopped playing the next day.

“I was really upset and I didn’t say anything for a few days and I really struggled a lot,” he said.

“I quit the next day and said it was my knee to my teammates [and that] it’s not that bad but I was just shattered as a fair skin blackfella, I wear my culture with pride.

"I have a lot of love for the mob always."

Mr Tutt said the incident took place prior to the match and he believes he was targeted because of his Indigenous designed headgear. 

"It happened before whilst I was on my own," he said.  

"There were players around but they didn’t hear it and I trust them on that. 

"Others did and the fellow was kicked out during the game for being intoxicated and yelling abuse at players from what I know."

Head coach for the Pirates Marc Minor confirmed to NITV News on Monday that the club was submitting a formal complaint to NSW Rugby Union.

"There are protocols in place and I think those protocols do call for it to be actioned higher," he said.

"Kempsey is a great club. They've got a great inclusion of Indigenous players and it's certainly something they survive on.

"When Corey told me I was absolutely shocked and disappointed that there were still individuals who do that ... It won't be tolerated and I can speak on Kempsey's and Port Macquarie's behalf that it won't be tolerated anymore." 

NITV News contacted the Kempsey Cannonballs who said they were unaware of the incident but were making further inquiries. 

"This information is the first we have heard of such an allegation," said the club. 

"The club is contacting the Mid-North Coast Rugby Union zone and the Port Macquarie Rugby club for further information."

'Clean this up'

Former Wallabies fullback Glen Ella has called on Rugby's national governing body to do more to stamp out racist incidents after a growing number of reports of racial vilification directed at Indigenous players. 

“It’s gotta be the Australian Rugby Union, they’ve gotta come down on it really hard you know...its ridiculous people are getting away with it in this day and age,” he told NITV News.

“They want Indigenous kids to be playing the sport, well, we need to clean this up before I’ll put any kid in there.

"If it was one of my kids, I'd be taking them straight out of the sport. I wouldn't let them play the sport. I'd encourage them then, all the other Aboriginal players out there not to play the game.'

Mr Ella's comments come as a separate incident is currently being investigated by New South Wales Rugby Union.

Last month a 14-year-old Aboriginal player was allegedly called a 'black a-- c--t', a 'black n----r' and a 'b---g' during a junior country championships match in Orange.

His mother, who wishes to remain anonymous in order to protect her son's wellbeing, told NITV News on Monday that it has been six weeks since the incident happened, and is yet to receive an outcome.

She said her son was "distraught" following the incident, which the referee of the match claimed he did not hear, nor did the opposition coach.

Mr Ella condemned those responses, saying stronger action should always be taken when a player says they were racially abused. 

"We just can't let the refs say, 'oh, I didn't hear about it' and sweep it under the carpet. That's just not on," he said.

"If the parents or the child says they were racially abused, then we've got to do something about it.

"It just leaves me aghast that this happens in today's day and age.

"I'd be saying to the other coaches and players that it's just not on. It's not what we want to see in our code. It's a great game and it's played all over the world."

NSW Rugby investigates alleged racial attack on Indigenous teen
A 14-year-old boy was left 'distraught' after allegedly being taunted with racial slurs during a junior representative rugby union game last month.