Josh Dugan says he's not surprised the first person to post the Todd Carney lewd photo was the same person he had engaged with in a Twitter war last year.
It cost Dugan a A$2 million (NZ$2.16 million) contract with the Broncos after he told Mark Miler, who is @MarkRaider1 on Twitter, to "end himself" following what he believes was a series of taunts from disgruntled Raiders fans after he was sacked by the club.
"I wasn't aware it was him, but to be honest it doesn't surprise me," Dugan said about Miler.
Miler did not take the photo, but it's understood he was the first person to post it on social media.
Dugan, who sympathises with Carney, took aim at Miler on Twitter in March last year, retaliating to a barrage of abuse from Raiders fans on social media.
"haha righto Marky Mark: go get another Raiders Tattoo then end yourself," Dugan posted on Twitter last year.
"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 has since got his life back on track at St George Illawarra, but said it was easy to get caught up in the wrong crowd when living the lifestyle of a footballer.
"It's just a practical joke gone wrong," he said.
"I do feel for Toddy. He's not a bad bloke, he's just made a few bad choices, and I've been there so I can definitely sympathise. I was younger than him but I trained full time with him and [he] sort of looked after me while I was there at Canberra.
"He maybe hung out with the wrong people. It happened to me a couple of times in Canberra and I paid the price for it. But you live and you learn."
NSW skipper Paul Gallen, who said it was "harsh" for Carney to be sacked over the photo, was not aware of his former Cronulla teammate's contractual agreements or his previous offences.
"The decision is out of my hands, it's a very hard position that I'm in," Gallen said.
"I've got a lot of loyalty towards Todd but also a lot of loyalty towards the club. I'm not privileged to all the information about Todd's contract and what has happened in the past, this year and previous years.
"From all reports and everything that was told to us players yesterday, the club was left with little choice and the NRL would have come over the top anyway. That is basically what I got out of the meeting yesterday."
Gallen said his main concern was the welfare of his close friend.
"The world is going to keep moving on and Todd has to as well," he said.
"We want to make sure he does that in the right way and he gets his life sorted out - that Todd Carney as a person is ok.
"That's the most important thing to me and the rest of the boys at the club ... The thing about Todd Carney, no matter what people think of him or how they judge him by what's happened or what has happened in the past, he's a really, really good person.
"He's got a real kind heart, very giving and unfortunately he has made some bad choices, we know that. We can't take away what he's done."
- Sydney Morning Herald
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