Brent Naden racial abuse investigation completed, Penrith Panthers, NZ Warriors

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The NRL has completed an investigation into the racial abuse directed at Penrith Panthers player Brent Naden during a match against the New Zealand Warriors.

The incident occurred in Round 14 at the Central Coast Stadium in August where police were forced to escort eight fans out of the the venue after Naden claimed that they had racially abused him.

After the match, Penrith coach Ivan Cleary confirmed Naden “took offence” to the comments at the time, but was “doing OK” following the game.

Cleary said it was the first time the Indigenous star had experienced such abuse at an NRL match.

According to an NRL press release, the league facilitated a conversation between Naden and a representative of a number of individuals in which “apologies were offered and accepted” for the abuse directed at the 24-year-old Panther.

The fans involved in the abuse will undergo education around “respect for players and the effect that abuse can have on participants”, but will not be banned from attending NRL matches in the future.

The decision was made after the NRL Integrity Unit and CEO Andrew Abdo consulted with Naden himself as well as the Australian Rugby League Indigenous Council (ARLIC).

Abdo thanked Naden for his involvement in the entire process.

“The game will not tolerate any form of abuse against our players – be it physical, verbal or online trolling. I commend Brent Naden for taking a strong stand on this matter and the way in which he has conducted himself throughout the process,” he said in a NRL statement on Monday afternoon. 

“I’m pleased Brent had the opportunity to share how he feels and I’m pleased that an apology has been made and accepted.”