Inglis in good spirits despite racial taunt: Burgess
South Sydney Rabbitohs forward Sam Burgess believes it is important the person who allegedly made racist comments towards Greg Inglis at Penrith on Saturday is identified to ensure peace of mind for the Test superstar.
Burgess said Inglis was in good spirits despite the incident after fulltime in the 18-14 loss at Panthers Stadium but he maintained the person responsible needed to be banned from the game.
"We are all pretty disappointed with what has allegedly gone on but we have got to put our trust in the people who are trying to find a result for peace of mind for Greg and also hopefully to get the perpetrator out of the game," Burgess said.
"I think it is sad that we are talking about it considering some of the football over the weekend, however, it needs to be addressed."
Inglis was playing just his second game back from a knee reconstruction and had to endure being booed by Panthers fans as he came from the field for a head injury assessment in the 47th minute.
A man sitting in a prominent position near the tunnel allegedly made a racial slur towards Inglis as the Rabbitohs captain walked towards the dressing rooms after fulltime.
Inglis, who has previously been the victim of a racist taunt from an online troll in 2013 and was the subject of a slur from Andrew Johns which prompted Timana Tahu to walk out of the NSW Origin camp in 2010, was upset when he reached the dressing room and the Rabbitohs reported the abuse to the NRL.
However, Burgess said Inglis had been in good spirits at training and was preparing for Saturday’s match against Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, which is part of a double-header at ANZ Stadium with the Parramatta Eels-Cronulla Sharks clash.
"He is pretty good, he knows it is being dealt with," Burgess said. "Greg does not want to cause a distraction in the camp. Of course, he would be upset but he has been great around the guys, he has been fantastic around the boys."
Burgess, who moved to the NRL from England in 2010, said there was little racism in Australian sport but officials needed to remain vigilant.
"I don’t think there is a place for it in sport or in school or anywhere," Burgess said. "Other than Adam Goodes at the Swans, in my time here I have never heard or seen too much about it."
Panthers executive general manager Phil Gould said the club believed they had identified the offender but he was denying making a racist comment.
"Our decision as a club, we know what we’re going to do with this," Gould said on Channel Nine’s 100% Footy program on Monday night.
"We’re not going to tolerate it, we’re not going to tolerate our members behaving like that near the tunnel in any way shape or form, let alone racial abuse of someone like Greg Inglis.
"No one in society should have to put up with that. We’ll deal with it and they won’t be welcome back at our ground."