Broncos
Broncos

Brawl sparked by NRL star’s homophobic slur

The NRL Integrity Unit has issued Brisbane Broncos star Kotoni Staggs with a preliminary breach notice after he used a homophobic slur to insult a fan who asked for a photo.

Details of the 22-year-old Dally M Centre of the Year's conduct emerged in court documents prepared by Dubbo police investigating an incident at the city's Commercial Hotel on November 6.

Brisbane Broncos star Kotoni Staggs with his friend Brogan Black. Picture: Facebook / Brogan Black
Brisbane Broncos star Kotoni Staggs with his friend Brogan Black. Picture: Facebook / Brogan Black

According to court documents, Staggs knocked back a man's request for a photo about 11pm and said "nah, you walk like a f*****".

The man told Staggs to "f*** off" and a short time later Staggs confronted the man and ask if he called him a "black c***".

Police said after Staggs and the man spoke, two of Staggs's mates stepped in front of him and started to punch the man.

Brogan Black, 22, and Brad McCarroll, 21, punched the man in the head multiple times in the middle of the pub.

Staggs has not been accused of any wrongdoing in relation to the assault.

The man Black and McCarroll assaulted was left with minor head injuries and a woman suffered a cut lip after she was struck while pubgoers tried to break up the fight.

Black, a Bathurst man, and McCarroll, a Wellington local, were both charged with assault causing bodily harm after the fight was recorded on the pub's security cameras.

The pair pleaded guilty when they faced Dubbo Local Court and claimed the fight started because a man made racially inappropriate remarks to Staggs.

As Black was sentenced Magistrate Theresa Hamilton said the assaults were triggered by a "fairly stupid verbal argument".

"The provocation for it was a fairly low level," she said.

"The response was totally disproportionate. There was no good reason for this assault."

The Commercial Hotel in Dubbo. Picture: Facebook
The Commercial Hotel in Dubbo. Picture: Facebook

Black was placed on a community corrections order for 18 months, while McCarroll was given a sentencing date in March.

The NRL Integrity Unit has investigated the incident, an NRL spokesman said.

"The NRL has issued Kotoni Staggs with a preliminary breach notice in respect of his involvement which he is currently responding to," the spokesman said.

"The breach notice proposes a fine and that Kotoni be required to complete appropriate education and meet with the NRL CEO and Integrity Unit before playing in the 2021 season."

The incident capped off a shocker of a 2020 for Staggs who had his NRL season cut short because of a knee injury, was the victim of catfishing and had a teenage girl illegally share a sex tape which featured him.

The Brisbane Broncos declined to answer questions about the incident.

Originally published as Brawl sparked by NRL star's homophobic slur


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