Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart has issued a mea culpa after he told a journalist that if he could not have hard conversations with his players, he may as well be coaching netball.
- Ricky Stuart’s comment sparked outrage in the netball community
- Former Diamonds player Janine Iltich said Stuart’s comments were “ignorant” and discounted how tough netball is
- Stuart said he respected netball and anyone who plays it
The comment, made to NRL 360’s Paul Kent, sparked outrage from the netball community.
Kent said Ricky had told him: “If I can’t have tough conversations with my better players, I may as well coach netball”.
Former Diamond player Janine Ilitch said people should not discount how tough netball is.
“Ricky, I’m not sure you know a lot about netball, so no, I don’t think you could coach netball,” she said.
Ilitch said the implication of Stuart’s comment was that you could not have tough conversations in netball.
“I think we should bring in the old netball coaches to have tough conversations with the Raiders,” she said.
Stuart said he respected the game of netball and those who play it.
“[It was an] off-the-cuff comment,” he said.
“I’ve had a laugh about it, I had some journalists ring me last night, we had some laughs about it. But they probably flogged the hell out of me today.
“I respect netball. I’m sorry if I offended any girl or boy who plays netball.”