Mitchell Pearce Australia Day video scandal: Sydney Roosters captain publicly apologises, admits alcohol problems

By @hoopsdontstop30 on
Sydney Roosters captain Mitchell Pearce issued a public apology for his lewd behaviour during a party on Australia Day. Wikimedia Commons/Timprice89

Sydney Roosters captain Mitchell Pearce has issued an emotional apology over his lewd behaviour during an Australia Day party.

Pearce, who was exposed in a video footage on Australia Day simulating a sex act to a dog, publicly apologised for his antics and admitted his behaviour was unacceptable. The New South Wales State of Origin five-eighth also revealed he has drinking problems and needs help.

“I acknowledge that I have a problem with alcohol and that's something I need to address,” Pearce said in his first statement since the video shot emerged on Wednesday. “It’s not an excuse but a realisation that I finally need help.”

Prior to the incident, Pearce had posted a picture on Instagram of him drinking with his teammates on a cruise party around Sydney Harbour. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Roosters players had gone back to their hotel after the celebration and were issued Cabcharges to get home. However, Pearce joined the team’s new recruits Jayden Nikorima and Dale Copley to visit the home of a woman they had met earlier. It is here that the Rooster halfback was caught on tape with his stupor act.

NRL advisor on women’s issues Professor Catharine Lumby spearheaded the chorus of people calling out the Roosters management to have Pearce sacked. Meanwhile, the club’s major sponsors Steggles and QBE have expressed concerns about Pearce’s misdemeanors, but will leave the investigation with the Roosters.

"If the approach of the NRL changes and there is a slap on the wrist, I'd be very disappointed and I'd probably look at whether I was of use to the NRL," Lumby said, reports the ABC.

Pearce’s lewd acts has put his NRL future in limbo, with the league believed to be considering ending the 26-year-old’s captaincy with the Roosters, along with a six-game suspension at the start of the season and a fine of $50,000. Pearce, who is involved in off-field troubles for the second time in two years, is also expected to be booted out of the Roosters’ UK trip for the World Club Challenge, which starts on Feb. 21.

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