Axed Raiders star Josh Dugan has blown a reported $2 million deal with the Brisbane Broncos as a result of telling a Canberra fan to take his own life.
Dugan’s immediate playing future is in limbo after the Broncos backed out of a three-year contract given his comments on social media on Saturday night.
Dugan took exception at two people who criticised the one-time NSW representative after he posted a photo of himself and a friend with their shirts off on photo-sharing app Instagram.
‘‘I’d hate to be ya nuffie,’’ Dugan said.
‘‘At least my dog doesn’t speak up like you ya loud mouth ... who are ya by the way? I could never play another game of NRL and I’ve still accomplished more than you.
‘‘Haha righto Marky Mark: go get another Raiders Tattoo then end yourself. Your mrs is hot too by the way haha you obviously don’t read the news more the fool you haha your a joke.
‘‘All my tats put together are better than your one rubbish one plus your bad head. Should call you don bradman ya batting well above average with her. Send her my way ill show her the time of her life.’’
Dugan posted an explanation on Twitter on Sunday, but by then it was too late, the Broncos releasing a statement a few hours later aborting their interest in the troubled fullback.
“We will not be making any attempt to register a contract for Josh Dugan with the NRL,” Broncos chief executive Paul White said.
“While there were some negotiations, they are now over.
“In light of some fresh allegations of inappropriate behaviour, the Broncos have decided not to take the matter any further.”
Dugan was due to meet with salary cap auditor Ian Schubert on Tuesday to rubber stamp a three-year contract with the glamour club, but that deal has now evaporated.
Where Dugan goes next is anyone’s guess.
He was strongly linked to St George Illawarra, but it’s highly unlikely the Dragons will pursue the 22-year-old given his latest indiscretion.
A stint in the English Super League or perhaps in rugby union appear to be his only options.
Dugan apologised for his actions, but expressed his anger at being harassed by fans who he claimed only knew one side of the story.
‘‘Yes I stuffed up and yes I’m paying my price, but people go on and on about bullying when I am constantly being harassed for simply putting a photo up,’’ Dugan wrote.
‘‘I apologize to those who I had bad words with but I am a normal person like anyone else.
‘‘Media can write what they want but have not spoken to me personally or seen the abuse I have copped. Life goes on and I’m trying to move forward with my life and career.’’
Fairfax Media has contacted Dugan and his manager to get his account of what has happened, but hasn’t received a response.
The Raiders lodged a dossier to the NRL outlining his numerous breaches of the club’s code of conduct after they terminated his contract earlier this month for posting a photo on a rooftop of him drinking alcohol while injured, in breach of club policy.
Dugan met with several Broncos officials last week, including White, coach Anthony Griffin and football manager Andrew Gee, with discussions progressing so far as to involve the NRL this week.
An NRL spokesman said Schubert would take the latest incident into consideration if any club intends to register a contract for the Tuggeranong junior.