Joel Monaghan quits scroll for video of apology
Flanked by teammates, officials and his mother and father, Monaghan broke down as he read a prepared statement.
He tried time and again to finish the press conference but was simply too emotional, with manager Jim Banaghan finishing on his player’s behalf.
Monaghan walked away from the NRL after being photographed simulating a lewd act with a dog.
“I don’t want to damage this great club anymore because of this stupid prank, ” Monaghan said.
Monaghan was heard to mumble “this is torture” under his breath as he fought back tears.
“There are no hard feelings or grudges towards anyone else,” he said.
“They’re my actions and I’m totally responsible.
“I’ll have to handle the jokes and taunts which is understandable, but the players shouldn’t have to put up with pressure that my ongoing presence will bring.
“Alcohol is no excuse. I’d love more than anything to take it back but I can’t.” The decision came after a meeting with club CEO Don Furner this morning.
Furner told the press conference that Monaghan – who will seek a start in the English Super League next season – would one day return to play at the club.
“Joel is welcome back at this club and I hope he does come back one day,” Furner said.
“I hope he is welcome back in Canberra because he’s done a lot of good in this city.
“He’s had to pay a very high price for a party prank at somebody’s house.”
With Monaghan’s exit confirmed, Furner denied there would be a witchhunt to find those responsible for putting the lewd photograph in the public domain.
“I can assure everybody here that we don’t know who took the photo, if it was one of our players,” Furner said.
“There’s no way in the world that they would want this to happen to Joel, there’s no way in the world that one of our players would have uploaded this onto a website and wanted this to happen to Joel.”
David Gallop later released a statement on behalf of the NRL describing the events that led to Monaghan’s resignation as a sad affair for all concerned.
“Joel has today paid a heavy price in standing down from the Raiders and I think people are entitled to acknowledge both his contrition and the way he has handled things over the last couple of days,” Gallop said.
“It is a poignant reminder though that people need to think before they act, even when it is seemingly done in jest.
“In light of the decisions Joel has taken there does not appear to be a need for further action from the NRL.
“No doubt there will be others thinking of the extra pain they have caused through social media and they will have to wrestle with that outcome, albeit it is difficult to pursue any action in relation to them.
“It is too early to start talking about when Joel could return to the NRL competition, that is something we would address at a later time.”