James Tedesco will be investigated by the NRL’s integrity unit after a woman claimed he made a racial slur against her in Sydney last week.
The NRL formally received a complaint from a woman on Sunday afternoon, after a social media post late last week.
In it, the woman’s sister claimed the former Dally M medallist said “Squid Game” at the 20-year-old of Vietnamese descent when he walked past her in Bondi on Thursday.
Tedesco is expected to deny the claims, and has told the Sydney Roosters he was simply talking about Netflix’s popular South Korean series when the woman overheard him.
“Last night you felt compelled to say “squid game” at my sister when you walked past her outside of Beach Road in Bondi,” Katherine Trinh wrote on Instagram last week, tagging Tedesco in the post.
“This may seem like a joke to you, but these are the micro-aggressions that keep racism alive in Australia.
“My dad used to tell stories of the racism he faced when he first moved here 30 years ago, my sisters and I can all recount racism we suffered throughout school.
“And now one of them can remember when an entitled footy player was racist to her just last night.”
Trinh claimed in the post that the NSW State of Origin captain had been called out on the comment when it occurred, to which Tedesco responded “do you know who I am?”
It adds to a long list of matters for the NRL’s integrity unit to consider in their off-season.
Sam Burgess’ situation is one of those, with the NRL able to ramp up their investigation into claims last year that alleged drug use and domestic violence behaviour had been covered up by South Sydney.
The Rabbitohs strongly denied the claims by Burgess’ ex-partner Phoebe, while the NRL can now speak to witnesses after a police investigation into Burgess was last week dropped.
An outcome is expected in the next few weeks on that matter, as well as a possible suspension for Burgess’ brother George after he pleaded guilty to a road rage incident.
George’s charge came just weeks after joining St George Illawarra.
The NRL’s football department reviews are also ongoing this week, with no major alterations expected to on-field rules after two seasons of significant change.
Judiciary and off-field matters will also be considered, with clubs having submitted their ideas to changes to the system.
Again there is unlikely to be a major upheaval, but some clubs have suggested alterations to the loading system which came back to hurt the likes of Latrell Mitchell and Victor Radley in 2021.
The NRL made a point to defend the loading system during the year, pointing out that it follows a similar process to criminal courts.
Next season’s draw is set to be released as soon as the end of next week.