Cronulla and NSW skipper Paul Gallen said abusive rugby league fans and some late night drinks led to his Twitter gaffe that cost him $50,000.
Gallen was hit with the massive fine after a disparaging remark directed towards NRL officials while he was on holiday in Hawaii.
“I was out at a restaurant, going through my Instagram feed and I had a photo with an Australian. Turns out he was from Queensland and he had a crack at me on the actual photo and that’s what annoyed me,” Gallen told radio station TripleM.
“I went out and met Pearcey (Roosters halfback Mitchell Pearce) later on, had a few drinks and this topic came up and I was talking about it.
“It got me upset, then more drinks and as I was leaving the pub late at night, I got heckled by a bunch of Australians.
“I got back in the hotel, the WIFI came on the phone and Noycey (Cronulla CEO Steve Noyce) had been sacked. It upset me. I wrote the tweet in the foyer of my hotel, I got up to my room and deleted it but it had already got out there.”
Gallen, who is also serving out the final fortnight of his drugs ban from the ASADA scandal, has appealed the severity of the fine.
“We have sent the appeal back to the NRL, they review it and we wait and see what the outcome is,” he said.
Gallen said he didn’t have any issues with the Sharks despite the club endorsing the fine but indicated he hadn’t cleared the air with NRL officials.
“I’ve got no problem with them (Sharks board) at all,” he said.
“There are a couple of underlying issues that I have (with the NRL).”
Despite a rough two years in the wake of the supplements scandal and the fact he is 33, Gallen said giving up the game wasn’t an option despite the controversies.
“I never did (think about retiring), and I’m not thinking about it now,” he said.
“I think I have proved I can still mix it at the top level. I’ve never thought about pulling the pin at all.”