Sydney  head coach Trent Robinson revealed He is gone I think is not his fault…

Sydney  head coach Trent Robinson revealed He is gone I think is not his fault…

Trent Robinson has insisted Spencer Leniu is not a racist as the Roosters coach shared his thoughts on the case that has dominated the start of the NRL season.

Leniu, 23, copped an eight-match ban after calling Ezra Mam a ‘monkey’ during the Roosters’ victory over the Broncos at Allegiant Stadium, in an incident that overshadowed the NRL’s audacious foray into the United States.

Robinson attended the NRL hearing alongside Leniu on Monday as he learnt his fate, with the judiciary handing down the lengthy suspension in a clear indication of its stance towards racism.

Sydney Roosters back Robinson as fans turn on coach | Daily Liberal |  Dubbo, NSW


Leniu argued that he did not realise the slur was racist and Robinson believes his front-rower is not racist.

‘To call Spencer a racist is so far from the truth; it’s so far from the truth,’ Robinson said via the Sydney Morning Herald. ‘But is that language right? You can never use that [language], but is that happening on a daily basis? It is.

‘If we understand the definition of racism, it’s when you use power or use your power to put someone down a class and degrade that person. If you think that an immigrant – parents from Samoa and then obviously New Zealand – and [growing up] in Mount Druitt, and he’s trying to put someone down through power, then we’re way off the mark.’

Robinson added that the episode stemmed from a ‘language issue’ and it served as a reminder to all rugby league players.

‘Anybody calling out Spencer, I understand it, he should not have used it, and he’s going to live with that for the rest of his life, but many people use this language and that needs to be the positive out of it – that everybody takes a check on the way they speak to each other and the way that we change the way it looks in society,’ the Roosters coach said. ‘This isn’t an NRL problem.

‘We’ve [the team] had to have a couple of conversations about it, and it’s been great. You know, how do you talk to each other? What do you think about the way that you talk to each other? How do you think you talk to other people on the field, in the change room, in the workplace, all of that. We didn’t have to talk about whether Spencer was racist or not.

‘Is he [Leniu] guilty of using language he shouldn’t? Definitely. And that’s going to cost dearly, for a long time, but we can keep the back and forth going, or we can go, well what’s going to improve out of this?’

Elsewhere, ARLC boss Peter V’landys has warned footy stars not to share their views on cases before they reach the judiciary after Latrell Mitchell copped criticism for publicly urging the NRL to hand Leniu a severe punishment.

‘Everyone has to be given due process and natural justice,’ V’landys said. ‘That means that until you are given the opportunity to defend yourself, people shouldn’t discuss specific cases before the judiciary.

‘I have no problem, however, with them speaking in a general form, but not specifically in a particular case. In our society, everyone is afforded due process and natural justice. We need to abide by those principles. Until people have the right to defend themselves, they should not be prejudiced.’

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