Tahu walks out after racist remark
THE New South Wales team had a chill sweep through the side on Saturday after assistant coach Andrew “Joey” Johns and Timana Tahu walked out of the camp after hitting a speed hump on Wednesday evening.
The pair was involved in a mid-week incident at a Kingscliff Hotel regarding racist comments Johns made about Greg Inglis, leaving a lasting impression on Tahu.
Johns said something he thought was just banter amongst the boys but Tahu took offence to it. “It is something I feel strongly enough about to sacrifice my NSW Origin jumper,” he said.
“To give up the chance of bringing the trophy back to NSW is obviously something I gave a lot of thought to. But I felt I had to make a statement that this sort of behaviour in any environment is unacceptable and, as a senior player, I had to show that.”
Johns said saying something without thinking had caused deep regret and it was not directed toward Tahu. “I have learned a massive lesson and I am devastated that it caused Timana to give up his Origin jersey,” the former star halfback said.
“I am deeply sorry I have hurt Timana, someone I have always had a lot of respect for and his family, too.”