NRL staffer apologises for racist language after incident in historic Test between Mate Ma'a Tonga and Kangaroos

The NRL has confirmed one of its casual employees engaged for last week's Test between Tonga and Australia used racist language and has apologised.

An NRL spokesman confirmed to AAP that its investigation into the incident during the Test at Mt Smart Stadium reached a conclusion when the employee later met with the man offended by a derogatory comment.

Tongan DJ Alfred Aholelei, assigned to provide music throughout the Test, had complained after a man in the production room wearing an NRL polo shirt made the comment: "Dance monkey, dance".

The comment was made when footage of crowd members dancing appeared on the big screen at halftime.

When the pair met, Aholelei accepted an apology and the employee's explanation for his comments.

In a statement, the NRL said the employee had agreed to attend cultural training and education.

"The NRL abhors racism of any form," the statement said.

Aholelei said the comment had marred an evening which was otherwise a celebration of Tongan pride and culture at the sold-out venue.

It wasn't the only disappointing aspect of the night, he said.

Aholelei was angered by a production technician who "kept referring" to the need for security so Australian supporters could be escorted out of the stadium if the Kangaroos won.

"It then became obvious that this guy's stereotypical views on Tongans/Pacific people were that we are 'violent people' who would set out to 'attack other people' because of who they support," Aholelei wrote on Facebook.

Fans and supporters.
Tonga v Australia. International Rugby League test match. Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand. Saturday 20 October 2018 © Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.nz
Mate Ma'a Tonga fans created an incredible atmosphere at Mt Smart Stadium. Source: Photosport


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