Penrith star who was called a ‘weak-gutted dog’ by Ricky Stuart denies rumour about coach’s autistic daughter as he says he could take Canberra boss to court
- Ricky Stuart referred to the Penrith five-eighth as a ‘weak gutted dog’ last month
- The Raiders coach was handed a one-game ban and a $25,000 fine
- Jaeman Salmon denied he had mocked Stuart’s autistic daughter
- Panthers utility said he was shocked and confused by Stuart’s outburst
Jaeman Salmon has broken his silence on Ricky Stuart’s ‘weak-gutted dog’ spray, saying he was shocked and confused by the Canberra coach’s comments.
Salmon will come off the bench for Penrith in Sunday night’s NRL Grand Final against Parramatta, desperate to put the Stuart affair behind him and focus on football.
Shielded from the media since the incident last month, the Penrith utility said he had been sledged by fans in the weeks that have followed.
Canberra coach Ricky Stuart branded Jaeman Salmon a ‘weak-gutted dog’ last month
The Canberra coach unleased on the five-eighth for kicking hooker Tom Starling during the Panther’s 26-6 win over the Raiders on August 6.
Stuart was eventually handed an unprecedented one-match ban and $25,000 fine over the comments, and apologised for the forum in which he made them.
At the time, the Raiders coach claimed he had history with Salmon, with suggestions it dated back to a family matter from junior days in Cronulla.
But Salmon said he was caught entirely off guard by the whole affair.
The Panthers utility said he was shocked by Stuart’s outburst
”It was a bit of a shock,’ Salmon told AAP. ‘I’ve never heard that before. But I am not worried about that now.’
After the incident, there was a suggestion Stuart lashed out after Salmon reportedly made derogatory comments directed at the Raiders’ coach autistic daughter.
The Panthers utility, however, steadfastly denied the rumour.
‘I heard about it at the game. What Rick said is up to him,’ he said.
Jaeman Salmon (unseen on ground, boot between legs) is seen appearing to kick Tom Starling in the groin as he attempts to get up after being tackled
‘It has nothing to do with his autistic daughter. I won’t comment on what happened.’
In the aftermath of Stuart’s tirade, Salmon revealed he was considering legal action and thanked Penrith for standing by his side.
‘The club has always been supportive of me, and of any player in positions like that. I can’t thank the club enough,’ he said.
‘It’s in the past and I am just focused on the grand final this week. Winning it would be a very good feeling.’
Salmon said he had also noted the significant levels of support from his family, who claimed their son had not spoken to Stuart since the age of 12.
Penrith also threatened to explore legal avenues at the time, a move that remains a possibility.
But for now, Salmon is determined to repay the Panthers for their support.
A Cronulla junior, he was handed his first chance in the NRL by Brad Arthur and the Eels and debuted at the club in 2018.
Stuart was handed an unprecedented one-match ban and $25,000 fine over his comments
He ran into off-field trouble in 2019, but remained with the Eels until the end of the 2020 season.
He is the only ex-Parramatta player in Penrith’s squad for this weekend, with Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Waqa Blake, Bryce Cartwright and Maika Sivo having all gone the other way.
‘As a player, I’ve grown quite a bit [since leaving Parramatta],’ Salmon said.
Salmon will come off the bench in the Grand Final against Parramatta on Sunday
‘I’ve matured a lot over the past few years. I can’t thank the coaching staff enough here at Penrith.
‘I speak to the Parra boys every now and then, a great bunch of lads. I enjoyed my time there thoroughly and the club are good people.
‘It just didn’t work out there, but I’ve still got some good relationships with the boys.’