Brisbane Broncos forward Payne Haas has been fined $50,000 and suspended for three matches over an incident in which he verbally abused several New South Wales police officers last month.
- NRL player Payne Haas pleaded guilty to verbally abusing NSW police officers earlier this year
- Haas has been suspended for three matches and fined $50,000
- Brisbane Broncos and NRL executives say Haas will receive education and rehabilitation
Haas has pleaded guilty to intimidating police and using offensive language at the Jack Evans Boat Harbour at Tweed Heads on January 16.
The State of Origin star was given a two-year good behaviour bond at the Tweed Heads Local Court earlier this month.
The $50,000 fine is the highest possible amount allowed for a player under NRL rules.
Speaking to the media this afternoon, Haas said he regretted his actions and accepted the penalties imposed by the NRL.
“I’ve gone to see the police officers involved and offered them a full apology for my conduct,” he said.
“I’ve also spent time with police, watching a video of what I did that night.
“I really appreciate the police that took the time to sit down with me and explain what they felt and how my actions affected them, and that hits home for me.”
‘I’ll work hard to be a better person’
Haas said he was aware he had damaged his reputation and needed to rebuild his image within the Broncos club.
“I’ll learn from this mistake,” he said.
“I’ll work hard to be a better person in the future.
“I’ll need to win back the trust and respect of my teammates as well as our club’s members and sponsors.”
The NRL has said it will review maximum financial penalties to ensure they act as an appropriate deterrent to all players.
In a statement, NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo said the game had no tolerance for players abusing or intimidating police.
“Payne’s conduct was unacceptable,” he said.
“There are no excuses for any form of abuse towards our police force, and any player who intimidates police will be dealt with severely.
“As part of his sanction, Payne is required to participate in an appropriate education program and engage in community service as directed by the NRL.
“It’s important our sanctions are two-fold — they must act as a deterrent but also have an element of education and rehabilitation so players who are in trouble can learn from their mistakes and develop into better young men.”
Brisbane Broncos chief executive Paul White said he was encouraged that Haas had taken responsibility for his behavior.
“But Payne has taken responsibility from the start and has apologized in person to the officers involved.
“We will now ensure that Payne receives the support and education he needs to make sure he learns from what happened here.
“Mentoring, service in the community and spending time with the police will be central to that process.”