The NRL is investigating whether Kane Evans brought the game into disrepute by wearing strapping tape sporting an “offensive” word during Sunday’s game.
Evans, the Warriors’ 18th man during their loss to Penrith, could be seen wearing wrist strapping that bore the inscription “fold some c**t”.
The incident was not cited by the match review committee but the NRL’s head of football, Graham Annesley, said it had not escaped the league’s notice.
Speaking at his weekly briefing on Monday, Annesley said Evans’ actions were “offensive” and “not appropriate”.
“That writing wasn’t appropriate, the words that were on that strapping. It will be dealt with by the Executive. It’s being looked at at the moment,” he told reporters.
“There have been some precedents about how these sorts of matters have been dealt with in the past but that’s not a matter for me to decide here and now.
“It will be looked at in conjunction with the kind of action that it was and potentially bringing the game into disrepute.”
In 2016, Sharks prop Andrew Fifita was fined $20,000 for writing a message in support of one-punch killer Kieran Loveridge on his wrist strapping.
After he was caught with the word “c**t” on his strapping tape in 2014, then-Under 20s player Matt Lodge was banned for two games.
Evans played for the Roosters and Eels prior to joining the Warriors. Picture: Ashley Feder / Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Annesley said players shouldn’t expect such indiscretions to go unnoticed.
“Anything that you put on your playing equipment in terms of writing, or anything that you may carry attached to your equipment that is considered to be non-standard or offensive in any way, you can’t expect that it won’t be picked up,” he said.
“There are cameras all over the venue.
“It’s all in high-definition, it’s very easy to pick these things up.”
Annesley said he appreciated players were free to write on their strapping, but said they had a responsibility to remain tasteful.
“We have to draw a line about what’s offensive and what’s not offensive and I think this particular one certainly fell into the category of being offensive,” he said.
“(Evans) will be dealt with by the Executive.”
The NRL is hoping to resolve the matter “in the next 48 hours or so”, Annesley said.
Kane Evans joined the Warriors from Parramatta this season and has played 10 games for the club thus far.
Sunday’s game was his first stint as 18th man.
Injuries cruelled the Warriors in their bout with second-placed Penrith – Tohu Harris, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Wayde Egan and Rocco Berry all left the field injured, forcing Nathan Brown’s side to play out the game without an interchange bench.
Nathan Brown took the reins at the Warriors this season. Picture: Ashley Feder / Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
A win proved too much to ask for in the circumstances but Brown praised his team’s tenacity after the game.
“I want to say it is our best performance this year for sure and something we can take the club forward with if we take our lessons out of it,” the coach said.
“Playing with grit and commitment is far more beneficial than being technically sound.
“What was saw today was a group of people that appear like they want to play for each other.”
Gallant though they were, the Warriors risk falling out of finals contention if they drop any more games.
They’re now two wins behind the team in eighth place and must make the most of winnable clashes with the Tigers and Bulldogs over the next month if they hope to play September footy.
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