Former teammate sacked over 'disgraceful' Jarryd Hayne comments

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Tony Williams, pictured here in action for the Parramatta Eels.
Tony Williams has been sacked by the New York Freedom over his comments about Jarryd Hayne. Image: Getty

Tony Williams has had his deal with the New York Freedom rugby league team terminated over comments about Jarryd Hayne's rape sentence.

Reacting to Hayne's sentence of at least three years and nine months in prison on Thursday, former teammate Williams wrote on Instagram: “Fn dogs."

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“To all Haynsy’s family and friends stay strong for him and let God do he’s (sic) thing I love you all … God always prevails.

“Before I let this be just want to congratulate the victim and the so called justice system.

"You’ve sent an innocent brotherly to jail away from he’s (sic) kids you bunch of flops … that’s all respectively.”

Williams' comments sparked outrage on social media and have forced the Freedom to act.

"In light of the recent comments made by Tony Williams regarding the sentencing of Jarryd Hayne, New York Freedom can confirm that the contract between Tony and the club has been terminated," the club said in a statement on Friday.

"New York Freedom condemns Tony's comments and his opinions are not the opinions of New York Freedom or any party involved with the club.

"New York Freedom understands the hurt caused by these comments and takes the issue very seriously."

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Williams had only signed with the Freedom last week to play in the new North American Rugby League competition.

His signing was seen as a huge coup for the competition.

Williams and Hayne played together at the Parramatta Eels in 2008.

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Outrage over Tony Williams' comments about Hayne

The comments from Williams and others sparked angry backlash on Thursday.

"Some people and some footy players need some serious help," tweeted the Ladies Who League account.

"I can’t believe some of the responses to the news about Hayne’s sentencing. And we wonder why women don’t report..."

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AAP journalist Scott Bailey tweeted: “Some of the comments by former NRL players tonight has been downright appalling. No two ways about it.

“Again, I should clarify it is the minority of former players making the comments.

"But unfortunately those kind of voices are enough to promote a culture where victims don’t feel comfortable reporting sexual assaults.”

Mark Gottlieb of Fox Sports wrote: “Never has the rotten culture inside rugby league been so exposed than by the social media comments of some of Jarryd Hayne’s friends and supporters tonight.

"Most players are good people and they’re the ones who should stand up and shout down the ignorant minority.

“If Hayne’s friends had come out with messages of support and said they believed he was innocent (despite being found guilty in a court of law) that is perfectly fine but that’s not what they did.

"They targeted their vitriol at the victim. It’s despicable. They should be ashamed."

Jarryd Hayne, pictured here arriving at Newcastle Court for his sentence hearing.
Jarryd Hayne arrives at Newcastle Court for his sentence hearing. (AAP Image/Darren Pateman)

On Friday, Hayne gave his notice that he intends to appeal his imprisonment on sexual assault charges.

Hayne's legal team lodged a Notice of Intention to appeal in the NSW Supreme Court. 

He was jailed on Thursday for sexually assaulting a young woman who said the former footballer destroyed her life.

His legal team now has 12 months to lodge a formal appeal.

with AAP

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