Fox Sports Australia apologises for broadcasting Adolf Hitler's image during National Rugby League show

The Associated Press

A sports broadcaster has apologized for using an image of Adolf Hitler while showing highlights of a National Rugby League game on Sunday.

Fox Sports Australia issued an apology, saying it was concerned about a digitally manipulated image shown during the Sunday Night with Matty Johns program.

A superimposed black-and-white image of Hitler came on during a segment that focused on the cardboard cutouts that are being used on some seats in stadiums. No spectators are allowed to attend NRL matches during the coronavirus pandemic. There was no image of Hitler at the stadium during the game.

The apologies followed public complaints, including criticism posted on Twitter from Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-chief executive Alex Ryvchin about the "casualization of Hitler, Nazis, and by extension their crimes."

Johns said he called the New South Wales state Jewish Board of Deputies to apologize and planned to apologize on the air during his next TV program on Thursday.

"The segment ... was in poor taste and completely inappropriate," Johns, a former top-flight player, said in a statement. "I acknowledge it was wrong and I apologize to our viewers and to everyone in the community who is rightly concerned and offended by the segment."

Fox Sports Australia said it was reviewing the circumstances and "examining the action we need to ensure those involved understand it is not acceptable.

"We sincerely apologize for the offence the image has caused."

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