ABC reporter deletes 'tasteless' tweet about death of Bob Fulton

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Antony Green, pictured here on the ABC.
Antony Green's tweet about Bob Fulton didn't go down well. Image: Getty/ABC

Veteran ABC election analyst Antony Green has been forced to delete a tweet regarding the death of rugby league legend Bob Fulton after backlash from fans.

Widely regarded as one of the game's finest players, Fulton's death at the age of 74 to cancer rocked the NRL on Sunday.

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One of the sport's initial four 'Immortals' when the concept was introduced in 1985, Fulton played 35 Tests for Australia and 16 matches for NSW in the pre-State of Origin era, as well as 269 first-grade games with Manly and Eastern Suburbs.

As tributes from fans, pundits and players flooded social media on Sunday, Green weighed in with a tweet that sparked immediate backlash.

“A fulsome apology for raising this, but the headline ‘Rugby League Immortal Bob Fulton has died’ does contain a significant level of conflict with dictionary meaning,” he tweeted.

Antony Green's tweet about Bob Fulton, pictured here on Twitter.
Antony Green's tweet about Bob Fulton. Image: Twitter

The tweet was widely condemned by social media users.

“Hardly the time, hardly the place, and just hardly altogether. Delete," one person wrote.

Another replied: “You’d have been better advised not to send that tweet at this time.”

While a third said: “Pretty poor taste. Unfollow coming up. What is the purpose of this little English lesson? Tasteless.”

Green deleted the tweet a short time after.

Rugby league in mourning over death of Bob Fulton

Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans fought back tears as he spoke of Fulton's legacy on Sunday.

As a Kangaroos captain, coach and selector, Fulton's influence over rugby league was immense, but his sway at Manly as a premiership-winning coach and captain is impossible to measure.

The news of his passing after a long illness rocked Sea Eagles players and officials, who were told of his death when they were travelling on the bus on the way to their clash with Parramatta.

Following a gutsy 28-6 victory over their fierce rivals at Bankwest Stadium, Cherry-Evans said the reality of Fulton's passing earlier in the day had started to hit him.

"Rugby league can be such a cruel game sometimes, it gives you some of the lowest points but it gives you the highest points," he said.

"The best thing I and the team could have done today was perform well out of respect to the news.

"It's not until after the game that it's all hit and it's really saddening.

"He is someone who has made such a massive mark on the game, these moments are never easy to swallow but I hope in some small degree we've made his family proud on what will be a difficult day for them."

Clive Churchill, Reg Gasnier, Bob Fulton, and Johhny Raper pose, pictured here after being announced as the 'Immortals' of Rugby League.
Clive Churchill, Reg Gasnier, Bob Fulton, and Johhny Raper pose for a photo shoot after being announced as the 'Immortals' of Rugby League. (Photo by Pearce/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).

Tributes flowed through the day for the revered 'Immortal', including from long-time rival coach and fellow Australia squad member Wayne Bennett who put Fulton among the game's best.

"I've seen a lot of players and he was up there with the greatest players I have ever seen in our game," Bennett said.

"He was a hell of a competitor as well. He was someone that hated to lose as a player and a coach.

"He was a pretty innovative guy as well. A great loss to the game. He was Manly through and through."

Des Hasler was brought to the Sea Eagles by Fulton in 1984, with the two spending almost all of Hasler's first-class career together as player and coach.

"Bozo is an absolute legend of the game and to many of us he was a friend, a mentor and his legend that he brought to the game will never be forgotten," Hasler said.

"He was a winner, there was no doubt about that, there was always a way, and if not you have to find that way."

Fulton was a part of Manly's first three premierships, playing centre or five-eighth.

His career was ended prematurely when he was cruelled by a knee injury in 1979, but he later coached Manly to two titles in separate stints at the club in 1987 and 1996.

He also spearheaded the Australia side for seven years, winning World Cups in 1992 and 1995 along with victories in 32 of his 39 games in charge.

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with AAP

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