'Shattered' NRL player breaks silence on racism accusation

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Pictured here, Newcastle player Mitch Barnett and Gold Coast star Tyrone Peachey.
Mitch Barnett was accused of racially vilifying Tyrone Peachey. Pic: Getty

Newcastle backrower Mitch Barnett has passionately denied claims he directed a racial slur towards Indigenous player Tyrone Peachey, saying: "I am not a racist."

Barnett was accused of calling the Gold Coast utility a 'black c***' in Sunday's victory over the Knights, but an NRL investigation found no evidence to reach a conclusion.

'BE HONEST’: Cameron Smith slammed over 'delusional' claims

WOW: NRL's shock Dally M call over Nathan Cleary's TikTok stunt

After an NRL-facilitated conciliation meeting between the pair on Wednesday night, neither player would concede their truth.

And while he applauded Peachey's bravery for calling out what he believed to be racism, in a statement on Thursday afternoon Barnett denied racially vilifying him.

"Racism has no place in society, and no place in the game," Barnett said.

"I am many things. A son, a husband, a teammate.

"I am not a racist and I did not racially abuse Tyrone Peachey.

"I cannot be clearer on this."

Barnett's statement was not a requirement of the conciliation process, but the 26-year-old wanted to clear his name.

In the days since the incident Peachey has publicly condemned the remarks, saying he is sure of what he heard Barnett say and is disappointed in the outcome of the NRL investigation.

However, in his statement Barnett labelled it a misunderstanding and admitted he swore at Peachey but did not use a racist slur.

Knights player stunned by racism accusation

He said he was shocked and heartbroken to be accused of racism.

"While I am shattered to be accused of such an act, one positive to come from all of this is it has generated a conversation around racism," Barnett said.

"It is a conversation that needs to continue and extends beyond rugby league.

Pictured here, Gold Coast Titans star Tyrone Peachey.
Titans star Tyrone Peachey stood by his account of being racially abused against the Knights. Pic: Getty

"Players should call out discrimination and I support Tyrone in speaking out.

"I hope Tyrone continues to receive support from the game and his club.

"However, that does not change the fact I did not say what I was accused of saying.

"While in this case, there was a misunderstanding, I hope this situation has made everyone more conscious of the evils of racism."

Barnett is set to play in the Knights' elimination final against South Sydney on Sunday afternoon.

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting