The man behind the banner. Source: News Limited
THIS is the man who called the Sydney Roosters scum.
Meet Chris Dounis, an online tutor with the Australian Fitness Network and a fierce South Sydney supporter.
The Daily Telegraph can reveal Dounis is about to have his South Sydney membership officially torn up.
Dounis created a storm last Friday night when he raised an offensive banner at Allianz Stadium which read: “Scum: forever in our shadow.”
Rabbitohs co-owner Peter Holmes a Court and the club immediately condemned the banner.
Typically, the NRL directed responses back to the club.
The Daily Telegraph contacted a surprised Dounis in Petersham on Wednesday.
“In the best interests of the club I don’t think I should be saying anything,” Dounis said.
“It’s best if I don’t. No comment. I have to run.”
Dounis attended a meeting at Souths headquarters on Wednesday, where a punishment was discussed.
A couple of Dounis’s friends will also have their memberships cancelled.
“We found out yesterday who he was and he came into to see us at 8.30 this morning,” a Souths official said.
“He has had his membership suspended and we are going through the process of eradicating it.
“We are going to ban him, no question about it.
“We have informed the NRL but there is a process to go through.
“We have also dealt with a few of his friends. We’re not happy about it.”
The Australian Fitness Network website states Dounis is a University of NSW graduate with a bachelor degree in exercise physiology.
It also reads: “Chris is an accredited exercise physiologist with exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) and is currently undertaking a master’s degree in exercise science and rehabilitation through Charles Sturt University.”
“Chris has spent the last 12 months working in chronic disease prevention programs, personal training, strength and conditioning, and both acute (through Westmead Rehabilitation Hospital) and sub-acute rehabilitation programs.”
NRL fans on social media were divided about the banner.
One wrote: “Souths fans are the most hard-core in the comp, closely followed by Dogs fans.”
Another said: “Disgraceful act by Souths fans.”
Yet another stated: “Sorry to disagree with PHaC (Holmes a Court) about the banner but I believe everyone is entitled to express their opinion.”
The banner drew a fierce rebuke from Holmes a Court, who took to Twitter.
He wrote: “Love that the Rabbitohs broke a 105 year old attendance record, loved the blanketing of the stadium in red and green, love the passion of our incredible Members and Supporters.
“Didn’t love the final score, nor this banner. Rivalry, yes, hatred, sorry, never.
“Rooster fans may be misguided and delusional, yes. Scum, sorry, never.
“The world could do with less hate, and sport is best when it is used to build communities.”