Radio presenter Ben Fordham has ripped into a work colleague after he abused England rugby coach Eddie Jones at the SCG on Saturday evening.
In video footage that circulated social media on Sunday, Nine and 2GB sales representative Jimmy Paton yelled at Jones after England’s 21-17 victory over the Wallabies in Sydney: “You’re a traitor.”
Stream Over 50 Sports Live & On-Demand with Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >
The remark prompted a fiery reaction from the former Wallabies coach, who immediately lunged towards Paton and attempted to push past ground security.
“What did you say? What did you say?” Jones yelled.
“Come here and say it. Come here and say it. Come here and say it.”
A security official is overheard telling Paton, “I’ve spoken to you before, walk away.”
Jones coached the Australian rugby team from 2001 until he was sacked in 2005, guiding the Wallabies to the 2003 World Cup final against England.
On Tuesday morning, 2GB breakfast host Fordham called his Nine colleague an “idiot” for his involvement in the ugly confrontation.
“There was mixed feedback about the incident on the air yesterday with some saying Eddie Jones overreacted, and he probably did,” he said.
“He probably would’ve been wise just to move on because you hear all sorts of crazy things at the football.
“But that doesn’t excuse the actions of the idiot who called him a traitor because it’s one of those highly charged words.
“If you’re a proud Australian, you’re not going to want to hear someone calling you a traitor and that’s why I called the fan an idiot yesterday, and on this occasion we need to own the fact that the idiot works for us.”
The Daily Telegraph revealed that Paton reached out to Jones on Monday to apologise.
According to the News Corp report, Paton is set to have his SCG membership suspended for breaching the organisation’s regulations.
Meanwhile, The Australian reports that Rugby Australia is considering handing Paton a five-year ban from rugby events.
“Rugby Australia is disappointed with the reported incidents within the crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground for the Third Test of the Wallabies’ series with England,” RA chief executive Andy Marinos said in a statement.
“The offensive remarks made by spectators in the Members’ areas towards England staff were unacceptable – and not representative of the values of Rugby.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy for inappropriate behaviour, and we are working with Venues NSW on appropriate sanctions for these individuals.
“Rugby prides itself on values of respect and integrity – as seen in the players of both teams after the final whistle of a hard-fought series at the SCG on Saturday night.
“It is our expectation that spectators adhere to these values of respect and integrity when attending rugby matches – and, we would hope, in society in general.
“Please, cheer for your team with all that you have – but please, always show respect for others.”
Meanwhile, another SCG patron was arrested by NSW Police on Saturday after he allegedly urinated from the roof of the O’Reilly Stand.
Footage emerged after the Wallabies Test of the man appearing to urinate off the edge of the venue’s roof, with the video inevitably circulating social media channels.
NSW Police later confirmed that a 31-year-old man was arrested and taken to Surry Hills Police Station following the incident.
“About 9.20pm last night (Saturday 16 July 2022), a man was at a sporting stadium at Moore Park when he allegedly climbed onto the top of a scoreboard within the stadium, and onto the roof of a spectator’s stand,” the statement read.
“Officers attached to Surry Hills Police Area Command and the Police Rescue attended and safely removed the man a short time later, before he was arrested.”
The patron was taken to Surry Hills Police Station and charged with behaving in an offensive manner in a public place and climbing on buildings on scheduled lands without approval.
He was granted conditional bail and will appear at Downing Centre Local Court on Monday, 25 July.
An SCG Trust spokesperson confirmed to news.com.au that the man would receive a two-year suspension from the venue, while RA handed him a lifelong ban from rugby events.