SBW: I’m not behind Haas’ contract drama


SYDNEY: Sonny Bill Williams has slammed suggestions that he is behind the Payne Haas contract drama as the Broncos anxiously await the next flare-up in the battle to keep the game’s best front-rower.
The rugby union and league legend is tight with Haas but, after going through hell when he walked out on the Bulldogs 14 years ago, he wants to clear the air about his involvement.
Williams still wears flak from Bulldogs fans, even though he has explained and apologised for what was and remains one of the most emotive moments in the game’s recent history.
Williams has been chased by the media since Haas let the Broncos know of his desire to leave immediately.
“I find it amusing that I’m being painted as the person telling Payne to break his contract,” Williams said.
“I support Payne in everything and anything he wants to do in his career decisions or in any direction he decides to go in.
“He has a direct line to me when he wants to discuss his future, his faith and his family.
“Payne is my brother and I have his back and his best interests at the very front of my mind.
“But I have not instructed him to do anything.
He’s his own man and people need to respect him for that.
“To say otherwise is an insult to him, and there is a lot more to Payne than people know.
“The commentary regarding Payne from certain uninformed elements of the media — and when I say uninformed, I ask, have they spoken to Payne? — is based on the interest of their paymasters.
It would be nice if they formed their views after speaking to those they are talking about.
“Instead, they’d rather character-assassinate someone for a few bucks.
” Haas has handled himself well in Blues camp during the week.
“I’ve seen and experienced a lot in my life,” he said.
“This is not impacting me.
I have to focus on Origin — if I’m not focused, I’ll be exposed and I don’t want that.
I want to play my part in a Blues win.”