Why Fox Sports apologised to Ricky Stuart after furious Raiders coach told their cameraman to ‘f**k off’ on live TV in move that left fans disgusted
Fox Sports bosses have apologised to Ricky Stuart and admitted the broadcaster went a step too far by getting a camera in his face on Saturday.
The Raiders coach is facing sanctions from the NRL after he appeared to swear directly at a camera during Canberra’s 29-18 loss against the Broncos at GIO Stadium.
An angry Stuart could be seen mouthing ‘f*** off’ as he stared at the camera late in the second half – but some have suggested he said ‘back off’ instead.
And Fox Sports boss Steve Crawley has now apologised for invading Stuart’s personal space.
‘I spoke to Ricky this morning and apologised to him,’ he told News Corp.
Fox Sports bosses have apologised to Ricky Stuart and admitted the broadcaster went a step too far by getting a camera in his face on Saturday
The Raiders boss is facing sanctions from the NRL after he appeared to swear into a camera
Crawley also spoke to NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo and NRL head of football elite competitions Graham Annesley to accept blame for the incident.
‘I have an agreement with Ricky that we don’t get in his face when he is on the sidelines,’ he continued.
‘We’re also writing to [Canberra chief executive] Don Furner to apologise to the club for being in his face.
‘We’re entitled to show him but we can’t be right in his face on the sidelines in his area.
‘I feel for him. I think we were out of line there.’
Stuart, whose Raiders could still miss the finals if they don’t beat Cronulla away from home next weekend, was visibly annoyed at a series of contentious calls in the second half.
In the post-match press conference, he took aim at referee Adam Gee and the bunker for some controversial calls, including the decision to sin-bin Jordan Rapana for an attempted trip on Selwyn Cobbo when he scored to put them ahead 20-18 in the 62nd minute.
Another contentious call saw Hudson Young penalised for an obstruction after the Raiders had gathered the ball from a Brisbane dropout looking for an equalising try, the second-rower making minimal contact with Cobbo as he leapt for the ball.
But Stuart, who initially tried to bite his tongue while noting his unfiltered views would get him fined by the NRL, then suggested decisions went against his side ‘for 80 minutes’.
‘Why do you reckon little old ladies are sitting up on the chairs going off their heads?’ he asked.
Stuart was incensed with a number of controversial call in the Raiders’ 29-18 loss against the Broncos at GIO Stadium on Saturday night
‘When the little old ladies have gone off their heads, you’ve had a bad day.
‘I can’t do nothing, you’ve just got to cop it.
‘[Referees boss] Jarrod Maxwell is a very good operator […] I reckon power has been taken off Jarrod in a number of areas because they’re not improving.
‘It happens every game on these escorts, [but] I just don’t understand why it’s been us […] well I do understand, but that’s probably the bit I can’t talk about.’