Sydney Roosters NRL co-captain Mitchell Pearce, who this week was filmed doing a bunch of incredibly dopey and offensive stuff after a drunken cruise on Sydney Harbour, has admitted he needs help while delivering a statement of apology on Friday afternoon.
Clean-shaven and wearing a dark blazer and white shirt, the 26-year-old halfback delivered a pre-written statement that read as follows:
"I’d like to unreservedly apologise for my acts over the last couple of days. My behaviour was unacceptable. I'm embarrassed to take full responsibility for my actions. I acknowledge that I have a problem with alcohol and it's something I need to address. It's not an excuse but a realisation that I finally need help. Together with the club I'm working on a solution to address these issues that will come out in the next couple of days. I'd I just want to thank everyone for turning up and I apologise again."
And then he walked away, refusing to take any questions from the media.
This was a moment which was clearly difficult for Mitchell Pearce. His body language oozed awkwardness, but he at least turned up and said what he had to say.
Some interpreted his quick departure as a snub to the media, but this is a young man who was clearly struggling to come to terms with a side of himself he finds it hard to control. Drunken Mitchell Pearce is a very different creature to sober Mitchell Pearce.
Pearce's admission that he needs to address his drinking problem was the main positive. His father Wayne was a renowned teetotaller and former rugby league player who played for Australia 17 times and was always a spectacular, squeaky clean role model.
Pearce senior is on the Australian Rugby League Commission these days. With his son the subject of an NRL Integrity Unit investigation, there is speculation his position may now be untenable -- especially as he's up for re-election in February.
We'll know more about Pearce junior in coming days when the NRL integrity unit decides his fate. A fine and a playing ban of between six weeks and a season is likely.