Dallin Watene-Zelezniak is sick of the stereotypes about the NRL at the moment, insisting the misdemeanours need to stop.
The NRL has endured a long and gruelling off-season, with sexual assault charges, assault charges and sex tapes dominating the headlines.
Watene-Zelezniak was Penrith Panthers’ representative to tune in to Todd Greenberg’s conference call on Monday, where the NRL chief executive made his frustrations known over the recent off-field behaviour of a number of players.
“People that don’t know you stereotype you because of what has been going on, they think all footballers are the same where I’m the total opposite,” Watene-Zelezniak told NRL.com.
“A few mistakes people have made, you’ve got to realise that all of us suffer, not just the one person. We had the conference call and it’s true, it’s going to kill the game, I feel.
“No one wants that, but we’ve got a reputation to live up to. We’re role models for kids. You can’t have kids thinking this is the normal thing when you come into the NRL.
“I pride myself on how I am off the field and the example I want to set for my kids.
The New Zealand captain has had to pull a team-mate aside and pick them up on their poor choices away from the training ground.
“It’s disappointing but I don’t like judging people, they may have other things in life that might be happening too, who knows,” he added.