Steve Mortimer has been lambasted for his comments on the NRL sex tapes scandal.
Steve Mortimer has been lambasted for his comments on the NRL sex tapes scandal.

NRL legend apologises for sex tape comments

CANTERBURY legend Steve Mortimer has apologised for his comments about the role of women in the NRL's sex tape scandals.

Mortimer appeared on ABC News to address the plethora of scandals plaguing the NRL this off-season.

And unlike Luke Lewis, who was quick to slam the players as "grubs", Mortimer said the blame shouldn't be solely put on the players.

"It's not just the players," Mortimer said.

"I think it can also be the young ladies that are looking for a little bit of notice: 'Oh, I'm being taken out by a certain great rugby league player' or whatever - I think that's wrong. I think that's wrong."

Mortimer was criticised for those comments on a segment on Network Ten's Studio 10 morning show, including by host Sarah Harris.

Panellist Kate Peck said: "It's just really insensitive. He's just totally out of touch with what's going on".

Steve Mortimer appears on ABC News.
Steve Mortimer appears on ABC News.

Guest Yvie Jones said Mortimer's comments were "classic victim blaming and shaming".

In a statement released on Friday by a  Canterbury official, 62-year-old Mortimer admitted his comments were "poor".

"I would like to clarify and apologise for comments I made on Thursday afternoon regarding the disappointing social culture in rugby league that is, unfortunately, casting a shadow on the game that I love," he said.

"Having seen and read my comments in print, I realise that my choice of words was poor and not an accurate reflection on who I am as a person.

"In no way was I seeking to apportion blame for some of the current issues in the game to young women in our society. Again, I apologise that my words suggested that.

"I am passionate about helping young people, and it was my intention to encourage young men and women to think about the choices they make in life before they act.

"Anyone who knows me understands how much respect I have for the wonderful women in my life and those in the NRL and broader community.

"I want the young men in our game to understand it is a privilege to play rugby league for a living. It's not a free pass to do whatever you want. All players in our game must take responsibility for their behaviour and show respect for women at all times."

Mortimer's words have come as the league continues to battle the ongoing sex tape scandals that have painted the NRL in an ugly light.

The Penrith Panthers came out swinging in defence of their culture amid the NRL sex tape scandal that has resulted in Tyrone May being charged by police and stood down.

Just 10 days out from their season-opener, the Panthers are a club under siege after the release of four sex tapes over the past week involving three players.

The NRL stood May down indefinitely after he was charged with two counts of recording an intimate image without consent, and two counts of disseminating an image without consent.

On Thursday, a legal challenge by Jack de Belin was held over in the Federal Court because the NRL had not yet drafted its "no fault" stand-down rules.

Effectively, it means de Belin and May are not suspended - but that will change when the NRL signs off on the rules, which is expected to happen in the next 48 hours.

With AAP

News Corp Australia


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