Former national rugby league player and current television sports personality Matthew (Matty) Johns and Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff met for a cup of coffee in the aftermath of the photo-shopping of an image of Hitler on television during a recent rugby league match.
Johns immediately apologised for the incident, which occurred during his Fox League show on Fox Sports, describing it as being “in poor taste and completely inappropriate”. He also telephoned Alhadeff “to apologise personally for the incident”, and repeated the apology at the beginning of his next television show.
“Matty was quick to acknowledge that the issue was extremely sensitive and offensive for members of the Jewish community,” Alhadeff said. “He readily acknowledged that the incident was a poor error of judgment and in poor taste, and I commended him for owning and acknowledging it.”
Alhadeff added that their meeting was very cordial and covered a broad range of issues, including the spike in racist incidents worldwide, the resilience of Holocaust survivors, the need to speak out against all forms of bigotry – and the state of Australian rugby.
Johns also undertook a guided tour of the Sydney Jewish Museum with museum president Gus Lehrer, CEO Norman Seligman and Holocaust survivor Jack Meister.