The NRL's gender advisor says she believes Brisbane Broncos star Payne Haas shouldn't be suspended after he was given a good behaviour bond for thr
The NRL’s gender advisor says she believes Brisbane Broncos star Payne Haas shouldn’t be suspended after he was given a good behaviour bond for threatening to assault a female police officer.
The 21-year-old was drinking with his pregnant girlfriend Leilani Moheno at Jack Evans Boat Harbour, in Tweed Heads, on January 16.
Three police officers approached him and asked for ID, but the young prop responded with an expletive-ridden outburst.
Haas was arrested and charged with using offensive language and two counts of intimidating police.
The NRL star was handed down a good behaviour bond on Thursday and no conviction was recorded, with the league’s Catharine Lumby saying he shouldn’t have to miss out on a game.
‘I think that a good behaviour bond is totally appropriate because clearly he showed genuine remorse and of his own volition and apologised to the police,’ she told the Daily Telegraph.
Brisbane Broncos star Payne Haas (pictured outside court on Thursday) was given a two-year good behaviour order after pleading guilty to intimidating police
She said what happened was completely ‘out of character’ for the player but quickly found herself in hot water after bringing up cultural differences.
‘While it is clear I am not suggesting that the majority of police are racist, it is true that people from some cultural backgrounds have sometimes had a history of distrust of the police which involves members of their family and their community and it can influence the way that they respond to police authority,’ she said.
Dr Lumby stressed that she wasn’t suggesting the encounter between Haas and the police was racially motivated but said there was a ‘history’ of this happening in other situations.
‘But there is a history in some communities of having multiple adverse encounters with police and they may respond different to police authority than someone from an Anglo background. I do think that we need to be aware of that,’ she said.
The confrontation between the police and Haas turned ugly when he was asked to show his ID, a court heard.
He first told Senior-Constable Anthony Attard to ‘f**k off’ and that he didn’t need to provide his details.
NRL gender advisor, Catharine Lumby, said she believed Haas was genuinely remorseful and shouldn’t be suspended
The officers tried to reason with Haas but he continued his rant, daring them to taser him, the court documents continued.
‘You got a badge on and you think you’re a tough f**king c**t. Let’s get the f**k out of here. Just taser me you dumb c**t,’ he said.
Officers warned Haas about his language, but he responded: ‘Oh, f**k off, suck my d**k. I’ll f**ken take youse all out, you’re f**kwits.’
Haas then threatened to ‘jab’ Sen Con Attard if he came near him, before turning his attention to Constable Brittany Griffiths.
‘Why you looking at me like that? Cause you’re a woman you think I won’t touch ya?’ He said to the female officer.
Haas continued to argue with the officers until arriving at the watch house, where he calmed down and apologised, police said.
Haas (pictured, with partner Leilani Mohenoa) had been at Jack Evans Boat Harbour on Coral Street at Tweed Heads, on the New South Wales north coast when the incident with police unfolded
Police prosecutor Greg Huxtable dropped one charge of intimidating police after Haas agreed to plead guilty to the others in Tweed Heads Local Court on Thursday.
Haas said he regretted the foul-mouthed tirade and even voluntarily went to the Tweed Heads police station to apologise three days after.
In the wake of the shocking incident, Dr Lumby’s comments have caused tension within the NRL and even NSW Police.
Speaking to 2GB’s Ben Fordham on Friday morning, NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said Dr Lumby provided advisory advice for the league on a pro bono basis, and was ‘certainly not a spokesman for the NRL’ or employed with them.
‘This is not the views of the NRL. We will be making no excuses for any players who abuse police,’ he said.
Mr Abdo said Haas will also be facing sanctions in the coming days.
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller also weighed in on the matter, saying Dr Lumby had a ‘shocker’.
‘You’d have to be living under a rock not to know that policing in NSW and across Australia is very different to anywhere else in the world,’ he told the breakfast radio show.
NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said no excuses would be made for players abusing police and Haas would face sanctions in the coming days
‘I think that’s a shocker of a comment to make.
‘We won’t be worried about culture, we won’t be worried about gender if you break the law in NSW you will be punished.’
In response to the backlash, Dr Lumby said her comments had been taken out of context.
‘I was very, very, clear that what he said was wrong and it was very offensive,’ she told Mr Fordham.
She said she was ‘pleased’ to see how remorseful the Broncos star was but found his behaviour ‘outrageous’.
‘But I will stand by this, I believe people of certain cultures sometimes … have had experiences in their community which were adverse with policing.
‘I am not saying police today go around being racist, I’m talking about history, so my comments were taken out of context but I stand by the broader point I was making.’