Two ex-teammates of fallen NRL star Jarryd Hayne have come under fire after ‘despicable messages’ supporting the convicted rapist on social media.
Hayne, 33, was jailed on Thursday in the Newcastle District Court for a minimum of three years and eight months after he was found guilty of assaulting a woman in her Newcastle home in 2018.
Despite the guilty verdict, Hayne was backed publicly by ex-Parramatta Eels teammates Tony Williams and Krisnan Inu, who were highly disgruntled that Hayne will now be incarcerated.
‘Fn dogs,’ Williams posted in an extraordinary Instagram story following the highly anticipated – and expected – legal outcome.
Former NRL player Tony Williams took to Instagram (pictured) to showcase his support for Jarryd Hayne, who was jailed on Thursday for sexual assault
Fellow ex-teammate Krisnan Inu also weighed into the discussion, encouraging the victim to ‘actually get the help you need’ – despite Hayne’s guilty verdict in the Newcastle District Court
‘To all Haynsy’s family and friends stay strong for him and let God do his thing I love you all…God always prevails.
‘Before I let this be just want to congratulate the victim and the so called justice system…you’ve sent an innocent brotherly to jail away from his kids you bunch of flops…that’s all respectively.’
Williams, who won a NRL premiership with the Manly Sea Eagles in 2011, was charged with mid-range drink driving in 2018.
Later that year he tested positive for cocaine for a second time under the NRL’s illicit drug’s policy.
He is now looking to salvage his career in America, recently inking a deal with new York Freedom ahead of the North American Rugby League’s inaugural season.
Inu, who at 34 is playing for Salford in the UK Super League, also showcased his support for Hayne on Instagram.
‘Not enough words can express how I’m feeling for my lil bro,’ Inu wrote.
‘Don’t think justice was served to its proper intent. To the so called victim. Hope you actually get the help you need, because the things that was said about my boy, wasn’t what he’s about. Never has, never will be.
‘I’m praying for you my Uso. Keep your faith strong like it has been, and let your loved ones come together to help look after your family. Love you Bula.
‘And to his loving family, if there’s anything youse need, I got youse.’
The defiant response from Williams and Inu infuriated many, who felt some entitled footballers need to be accountable for their deplorable behaviour off-the field.
Current NRL player Corey Norman, himself no stranger to controversy off the field, caught up with Hayne just two days before he was jailed.
The St George Illawarra Dragons playmaker, uploaded a photo to Instagram on Tuesday with the caption ‘catchups’ with the fallen star.
The post attracted plenty of criticism, with Norman later disabling comments on the photo due to the level of negativity from stunned followers.
Krisnan Inu (pictured left) played alongside fallen star Jarryd Hayne at the Parramatta Eels – Inu has come under fire for supporting Hayne and shaming the victim on social media
St George Illawarra star Corey Norman (pictured right) caught up with Jarryd Hayne this week just two days before he was jailed
Fallen NRL star Jarryd Hayne (pictured with wife Amellia) has been jailed for three years and eight months
Former Wallaby turned author Peter Fitzsimons tweeted that ‘Hayne is a rapist and does not deserve public support. Players still playing catch up on how to hold each other accountable.’
Fitzsimons also felt Hayne’s sentence of three years and eight months was lenient given the seriousness of the charges.
Fellow academic Dilan Thampapillai, from the Australian National University, felt it was ‘shocking’ and ‘disappointing’ that Hayne had people defending his actions following his conviction.
Following Hayne’s sentencing, chaotic scenes unfolded outside the court.
One of his supporters was dubbed a ‘disgrace’ by police after he appeared to spit on the ground near the victim as she left the court.
Another female journalist was ‘highly intimidated’ by the angry mob, who were incensed at the legal outcome moments earlier.
Hayne, who Judge Helen Syme noted has ‘never expressed any remorse’, is expected to appeal his sentence.