Steve Crawley, the head of FoxSports, has reached out to the NRL to argue in favour of Ricky Stuart. This followed a situation where one of the network’s broadcasters pushed the boundaries by getting too close to the Canberra coach during a match.
Stuart is facing possible penalties from the NRL having seemingly sworn directly into a camera at GIO Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Some claim, however, that he said “back off” rather than an expletive.
Crawley has since admitted that he had communicated his apologies to Stuart, explaining that FoxSports violated his space. He also expressed regret to Andrew Abdo of the NRL, taking co-responsibility for the incident.
Crawley stated, “I spoke to Ricky this morning and apologised to him.” He also noted that he had contacted Abdo and Graham Annesley. “We’ve got an agreement with Ricky that we don’t intrude into his space when he is stationed at the sidelines.”
In an effort to maintain goodwill, FoxSports is also sending a written apology to the Raiders‘ chief executive, Don Furner. They admitted to crossing a line by being too close to Stuart on the sidelines of his area.
“He’s got a right to be shown, but it’s not appropriate for us to get right up close when he’s on the sideline,” Crawley said.
The FoxSports chief admitted they were at fault, saying, “I sympathise with him. I think we really overstepped our boundaries.”
Stuart has been fined on numerous occasions in the past. However, the acknowledgment by Crawley that FoxSports played a role in the confrontation with Stuart will undoubtedly factor into any decision by Abdo regarding potential sanctions for the Raiders coach.