Cronulla captain Paul Gallen has angrily denied swearing at a 10-year-old after an NRL game three weeks ago and has welcomed his club’s promise to investigate the incident.
Reports emerged on Friday that the NSW captain allegedly said “F*** this, I haven’t got time for this s***” when a fan requested an autograph after a home match against North Queensland three weeks ago.
While Gallen said he couldn’t remember the specific situation, he was adamant he didn’t swear at a child.
“If at any stage I did inadvertently miss signing this particular kid’s card, I’m sorry for that,” Gallen said on Friday.
“But to suggest that I’ve told a 10-year-old boy, or any kid, to `F-off I don’t have time for this .. another word’, is just absolutely absurd and not true whatsoever.”
The veteran forward also refuted claims he was aggressive with the boy’s father when confronted after last week’s match against the Wests Tigers, and accused the dad of being antagonistic.
“(He) become quite confrontational to a point where a security guard actually stepped in, put his hand on the man and said, `Mate, it’s time to go home’,” Gallen recalled.
“And then I put the cards back on his chest. He grabbed it, he flicked it at me.
“To say that I turned around and give everyone the bird is another lie.”
Gallen, whose side visit Parramatta on Saturday, hinted at having a security detail in the future to accompany him to and from football grounds where he was playing.
“I won’t be getting out of my car and walking into any ground from now on without two security guards with me the whole time,” he said.
“Because to have to deal with this, for my family to go through what they’re going through today, for my friends at work to be going through what they’re going through, it’s not fair.”
Sharks CEO Lyall Gorman said the club would also review the level of security and access to its players pre and post-match.
“While they have to accept that they live in a fish bowl environment, our club has continually gone to great extremes to make our players available after a game but it might be now time to review our processes,” Gorman said.