Sydney Roosters NRL coach Trent Robinson has described the behaviour of star player Mitchell Pearce as 'unacceptable' after the 26-year-old halfback was filmed performing lewd acts and behaving inappropriately towards women at a house party.
"The behaviour was unacceptable. We understand that and at the Roosters we can’t accept that and we won’t," Robinson said in a brief statement outside the Roosters club headquarters.
The respected Premiership-winning coach, whose team has finished first on the ladder in the regular season in each of the three years he's been in charge, said he'd had discussions with Pearce on both Wednesday and early Thursday, and that talks would continue.
Robinson would not be drawn on whether the club would sack or impose a ban on Pearce, saying he would come to a conclusion with the NRL over the next few days.
However the Roosters advised that Pearce has been stood down from all training commitments until the Club concludes its internal investigation.
Overnight, some of the NRL's most respected voices have called for a ban. Former Penrith Panthers enforcer and reformed bad boy Mark Geyer delivered a passionate pre-recorded statement on Triple M, in which he said a ban would be good for Pearce himself.
“I saw a bloke next level drunk. I saw a bloke with a massive problem," Geyer said.
"He was a) forcing himself on to a girl in her own home, b) incoherent saying he was both gay and Aboriginal in the same sentence, c) performing a lewd sex act on a small dog."
"This is a bloke who’s 26, he’s not a rookie. This is Pearce’s fourth or fifth indiscretion," Geyer added.
“He needs to be taken out of the system that he joined as a kid to appreciate what he’s got. Mitchell Pearce needs help. He’s obviously powerless when affected by alcohol and can not control his behaviour. He needs to be suspended for 12 months, get a real job away from football and undergo both counselling and rehab."
“Pearce needs help and needs to be as far away from footy as possible.”
“I can only imagine how his parents would be feeling today. If I saw my son on a video recording acting that way I’d kick his arse from here to Katoomba.
Pearce's father is the respected former rugby league player Wayne Pearce, a renowned teetotaller who captained New South Wales and played for Australia.