Peter Beattie denies league abandoned Jack de Belin
Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) chair Peter Beattie has refuted suggestions the league abandoned suspended Dragons player Jack de Belin.
The former Queensland Premier fronted a press conference yesterday alongside NRL CEO Todd Greenberg, where it was announced de Belin would be stood down while he answers alleged sexual assault allegations.
Following repeated questioning from Mark Levy and Mark Riddell on Friday, Beattie denied the league hadn’t communication sufficiently with the 27-year-old.
“Player welfare is important and we are committed to that,” he said.
“We will work to assist players to make sure they’ve got a career after football and their welfare is supported during the game.
“The reality is the NRL did talk to (de Belin) and Greenberg did go and sit down with him
“It’s not easy for us to rock up and have a discussion with Jack de Belin, it’s very complicated because we have to respect the courts.”
Beattie made no apologies for speaking openly in the media, telling Macquarie Sports Radio Breakfast it was simply part of his role as commission chairman.
“I have an obligation to every player, every fan and every club to explain exactly what we’re doing,” he said.
“I’ve not going to make any apologies for this – the game was irreparably damaged.
“I went out and said very clearly, there’s a problem and we had to deal with it. We had to be seen to be doing something.
“I’m open, I’m transparent, I hide nothing and when we made the decision, I told the world.”
Click PLAY to hear the full interview