Dual‑code Australian representative Lote Tuqiri has come under fire on social media after posting his controversial thoughts on Ben Barba's effective dismissal from rugby league.
Tuqiri took to Twitter to share his sympathy for Barba about his exiling.
Say what you want about #BenBarba but today he’s been stripped of something he really loved doing and one of the things he’d be most passionate about. I feel sad for him today! I hope he can find something that fills that void.— Lote Tuqiri (@LoteTuqiri) February 5, 2019
Barba was deregistered from the NRL yesterday after an incident involving his partner at a Townsville casino over the weekend.
As such, Tuqiri's sadness has been met by plenty of hostility from fans with one person challenging if his shallow statement was part of a footballer's pack mentality to protect their own.
Can I just say I am not condoning anything that Ben has done. Insensitive yes! And I agree with the sanctions the NRL handed down and it’s never been ok to be violent towards women. I really just hope from a well being point of view his partner, his family and Ben himself are ok— Lote Tuqiri (@LoteTuqiri) February 5, 2019
Tuqiri tried to clear up his stance on the matter, replying to multiple people he did not condone Barba's actions but his feelings were directed at a different part of the story ‑ of an athlete who can no longer do what he loves.
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