St George Illawarra striker Jack de Belin has defended the fact that no female journalists were present during a crucial interview last month.
De Belin spoke to the media for the first time in three years after the rape charges against him were dropped.
But days after that interview took place and was broadcast nationwide, Australian Rugby League committee chairman Peter V’landys publicly issued a ‘please explain’ to the Dragons.
READ MORE: Kyrgios hits back after being slammed for celebrity behavior
READ MORE: Siosifa Talakai’s ‘devastating’ performance could come back to haunt Sharks
READ MORE: Italy makes historic decision in football
V’landys asked how the interview was arranged, why only selected journalists were invited to interview de Belin, and why none of these journalists were women.
“I won’t go into it, but they should just have a standard policy to invite all journalists to press conferences and, in particular, they should encourage and support female journalists,” V’landys told the Sydney Morning Herald. .
“Anything to the contrary would be completely stupid.”
De Belin has done limited media interviews since then, and had not been asked about V’landys’ comments until now.
9News reporter Emma Lawrence asked the Dragons player his take on the controversy.
“To be honest, I had no idea. It’s the club, they arranged for this (the interview) to take place,” de Belin said.
“I didn’t think about it, but obviously hearing that, it would have been nice to have a female reporter, to have her perspective on things, to ask a few questions.
“But it was out of my control. I can see why people might have gotten frustrated, or it just didn’t look (good).
“But I had no control over that, and if there had been 20 female journalists there, I would have been happy to answer their questions.”
For a daily dose of the best news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by click here!
Tyson Fury vs Dillian Whyte: Fight night in pictures from the record night in front of 94,000 at Wembley