AAP Rugby

Fonua-Blake apologies for second outburst

By AAP Newswire

Addin Fonua-Blake faces further sanctions after admitting to a second foul-mouthed tirade about the referee following Manly's controversial NRL loss to Newcastle but says he did not know the official was present.

In a video released by the Sea Eagles on Tuesday night, an apologetic Fonua-Blake has also confirmed he hoped to spend his initial two game suspension working with disability support services to help him become a better role model.

But Fonua-Blake's heartfelt message may not be enough with NRL boss Andrew Abdo indicating on Tuesday night further action is expected, claiming the forward had breached the game's anti-vilification code.

Fonua-Blake copped a two-match ban for grade three contrary conduct after he was sent from the field by referee Grant Atkins for calling him a 'f***ing retard' following Manly's dramatic loss.

However it emerged he also allegedly told Atkins: "Are your eyes f***ing painted on, you bunch of spastics?" in the tunnel at Brookvale Oval after the game on Sunday.

The allegations were revealed after a leaked copy of the referee's report was sent to 2GB on Tuesday morning.

Fonua-Blake admitted the second spray had taken place but claimed he was unaware of the official's presence.

"I remember walking back to the sheds. I was speaking very loudly. I wasn't aware that the ref was in the tunnel - they must have heard what I said," he said in the video.

"I didn't say it directly to their face. It was just me venting ... and they happened to hear it."

Asked if he realised how offensive his choice of words were, Fonua-Blake said: "I do now. At the time I didn't. Growing up I used the word differently, not knowing what the word actually meant.

"Now that I know what it means I am very apologetic. If I have offended anyone I am very sorry - I didn't want to make fun of disabled people."

A father of four, Fonua-Blake added: "I would be very upset if I heard one of my kids do that.

"I don't teach my kids to tease people let alone people with disabilities. There's nothing funny about that."

Fonua-Blake said he hoped to make amends by spending time on the sidelines working with special needs groups.

"Anything I can do to help. Hopefully I can make amends for what I said," he said.

"I hope to be a better role model."

Fonua-Blake's two-week ban has come under fire considering the discriminatory and offensive language.

It's understood the match review committee considered the referee's report and was aware of Fonua-Blake's second tirade at Atkins when making its determination.

But NRL acting CEO Andrew Abdo indicated there would be further action, saying Fonua-Blake had breached the game's anti-vilification code.

"What happened on Sunday was divisive and against the fabric of what we stand for as a game," he told Nine Network.

Fonau-Blake's outbursts come after Manly players trained with Special Olympics athletes in November.

On Sunday Special Olympics Australia account Tweeted: "The R-word hurts because it is exclusive. It's offensive. It's derogatory. Language affects attitudes and attitudes affect actions. All clubs and players within @NRL need to be reminded of this and asked to #ChooseToInclude."