The Bulldogs player player facing the sack for allegedly having sex with a girl he met on a club visit to her school wants to be a teacher when he finishes playing football.
Jayden Okunbor was stood down after it was revealed he had taken a 17-year-old schoolgirl back to his team hotel at Port Macquarie on the New South Wales mid north coast.
‘I like being able to work with kids one-on-one and build personal relationships and friendships,’ he said just three months ago.
NRL star Jayden Okunbor exchanged flirty messages with a 17-year-old girl he met at her Port Macquarie school during a Bulldogs goodwill visit before taking her back to the team hotel. He wants to be a teacher when he finishes playing football
‘I like being able to work with kids one-on-one and build personal relationships and friendships,’ Okunbor wrote in a piece for the Athletesvoice website. ‘I don’t just want to be an authoritarian, telling kids what to do all the time. I want to have fun with them’
Pictured: A Snapchat image Okunbor allegedly sent to the girl he met while on a promotional team visit to her school in Port Macquarie. Okunbur wants to one day be a school teacher
Okunbor wrote a piece for the Athletesvoice website in December last year in which he described his plans for life after the NRL.
The 23-year-old revealed that while playing under-20s football he had worked in schools as a teacher’s aide and was keen on ‘giving back’ to the community.
‘I’m a bit reluctant to jump into uni right now,’ Okunbur wrote.
‘I’m not sure if I’m up to the challenge at this point of my life with everything else I’m doing, but some form of teaching is a career I’m keen on after footy.
‘I don’t just want to be an authoritarian, telling kids what to do all the time. I want to have fun with them.’
Okunbur wrote he had already worked with special needs children at schools and he found that ‘really fulfilling’.
The winger and teammate Corey Harawira-Naera, 24, were stood down from the NRL after they brought teenagers back to their team hotel in February.
Okunbor met a schoolgirl while on a promotional visit to Newman Senior Technical College ahead of a trial game with Canberra.
Corey Harawira-Naera, 24, invited another girl back to the Bulldogs team hotel after meeting her while she was working in her casual job
Harawira-Naera invited another 17-year-old girl back to the hotel after meeting her while she was working in her casual job.
The teens were not underage and there is no criminal investigation into the matter. There is no suggestion Okunbor or Harawira-Naera did anything illegal.
A photo the teenage girl who went to Okunbor’s room took with Bulldogs players during their promotional visit to her school
In Okunbor’s Athletesvoice piece he described a post-season club trip to visit a school in Papua New Guinea where all the students supported the Bulldogs.
The classrooms of the Nehemiah Christian School in Kavieng, the capital of New Ireland province, were all painted in the Bulldogs’ blue and white colours and the children wore blue and white uniforms.
Okunbor wrote of being treated like a celebrity from the time he arrived at Port Moresby. The travelling Bulldogs helped build a community hall in Kavieng.
‘In Australia, I think you get a fair bit of criticism and sometimes it’s hard to deal with,’ he wrote of being an NRL player.
‘Over there, they make you feel so good about what you’ve done, like you’re the best thing on earth.’
Fox Sports presenter Yvonne Sampson has been among those to slam Okunbor and Harawira-Naera.
Fox Sports presenter Yvonne Sampson has slammed the Bulldogs players at the centre of a schoolgirl sex scandal
Sampson has declared the incident ‘a moral issue’ and said the legality of the players’ actions did not matter.
‘They let themselves down, it’s hugely disappointing,’ she said on Sky radio’s Big Sports Breakfast program.
‘A lot of people have said the girls were of consensual age, and it’s not a police matter. But you have got to say it’s a moral issue.
‘Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.’
Sampson said the Bulldogs players should have known better than to do with they did based on their role in the community as prominent sportspeople.
‘Often these are people at risk, they’re doing it tough and who idolise sports and they need a bit of a lift,’ she said.
‘That’s what sports people are invited to come in and do, and that’s the contact that is a privilege of being an elite sports person.
‘Never should you take advantage of that access. It’s an abuse of power.’
Bulldogs star Jayden Okunbor allegedly asked a schoolgirl for naked photos on Snapchat
One picture of Okunbor’s bare chest and neck which he sent to the girl read: ‘show tits tho’
Messages between Okunbor and the girl he invited back to his room were leaked last Wednesday.
Okunbor asked the teen ‘what are we doing tonight?’ in an Instagram message after his visit to the school.
The 17-year-old asked him if he was ‘having a good stalk’ and he replied, ‘Yeah had to have a good look, what are we doing tonight?’
The girl answered ‘you’, followed by a winking face emoji. Okunbor then responded ‘okay, okay’ and asked if she had been at the school.
She sent him a photo of her posing with him with the caption ‘sure was’, and Okunbor replied ‘okay’ with three loved-up emojis.
The girl bragged about going to the player’s hotel on her since-deleted Instagram account.
‘*Gets invited to go back to bulldogs hotel room* fine if i must,’ she wrote.
One of her friends commented: ‘Lucky b***h.’
Family restaurant chain Rashays tore up a $2 million sponsorship agreement when the scandal broke.
MPA – the building contracting services company that sponsored coach Dean Pay and his staff – also terminated its deal.
Corey Harawira-Naera has been stood down from playing or training with the Bulldogs
Okunbor asked one of the girls ‘what are we doing tonight?’ in an Instagram message after meeting her at a visit to her school that day. She replied ‘you’
MPA’s decision came amid allegations Okunbor had asked the teenager who came to his room to send him naked pictures of herself during the Port Macquarie trip.
Snapchat screenshots show a bare-chested Okunbor asking the girl for nude images, with the caption, ‘Show tits tho’.
Another photo showed his face with the caption, ‘Dat ass Ahahah.’
A third screenshot showed Okunbor’s face with the caption, ‘Oh word. I f**k with that,’ with heart eye emojis.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg warned severe punishments would be imposed if all the allegations were proven, describing the players’ alleged behaviour as ‘completely unacceptable’.
‘Part of being a first grade player is being a role model,’ he said. Respect for women is a fundamental aspect of our training courses from rookies to elite players.
‘That’s why we took immediate action in provisionally suspending both players allegedly involved in the matters under investigation.
‘Rest assured, if these breaches are sustained the players will face significant sanctions which will both meet community expectation, and send a message to every single player in our game.’
Okunbor and Harawira-Naera will will not train or play with the Bulldogs until the investigation is complete.
Jayden Okunbor, 23, was stood down and is likely to be sacked by his the club and deregistered by the NRL after allegedly having sex with a schoolgirl during an away trip