Widespread public outcry erupted on social media after two players of the club were spotted wearing the T-shirts at Newcastle Airport while traveling to the Gold Coast for an end-of-season trip.
Country Rugby League (CRL) which was immediately informed of the players’ controversial fashion style issued a statement describing their behaviour as “inexcusable.”
“The behaviour of these persons is inexcusable and it is extremely disappointing,” the CRL’s CEO Terry Quinn said. “The Old Bar Club denies having any involvement in producing the T-shirts, which was an action of individuals.
@SmartState1 Peter today a CRL club boarded a plane at Newcastle Airport. The club members all wore shirts stating they were on their "rape and pillage tour" as a father I find it abhorrent that teams believe this is ok #auspol#NRL@Peter_Fitz@tanya_plibersekpic.twitter.com/FgCVY3ayJ1— Digital Wombat (@wombatdigital) September 19, 2019
We have been in contact with the club and the individuals have been instructed to destroy the t-shirts immediately.”
The club said it had no knowledge of the players plans to wear the controversial T-shirts adding that it condemns the “violent message” and supports women in rugby league.
“The Old Bar Beach Pirates Rugby League Club did not sanction these shirts,” the club said.
“As a club we endeavour to support and promote a strong anti violence message, as well as support Women in League and our community. The Pirates have been in contact with the Country Rugby League and will be working cooperatively with them.”
The players will be reportedly sanctioned for their “offensive” fashion choice after returning from their trip.