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Why the abbreviation 'FEC' has been front and centre of two of the NRL's latest controversies

The three most outrageous letters in the NRL: why the foul-mouthed abbreviation ‘FEC’ has been at the center of two of footy’s latest controversies

  • #FEC is the latest hashtag used by NRL players to protest injustice
  • The meaning is rude and you have to ignore online calls to chant it at games
  • The hashtag came to light due to two massive recent NRL scandals
  • They are Nathan Cleary’s suspension and David Klemmer’s show because notice

Two of the biggest scandals currently enveloping the NRL have inadvertently unlocked a silent coded protest that players have been using on social media – the simple hashtag #FEC.

The three letters have been used as a sort of siege mentality method to stand up to perceived injustices by footballers, including Penrith star Jarome Luai.

Now, with the recent suspension of Nathan Cleary’s spear and the puzzling message about the show’s cause delivered to Newcastle’s David Klemmer, the meaning of the acronym has become clear.

Klemmer falls in line against the Bulldogs. He has been asked to explain why he refused to leave the field when a coach tried to kick him off late in the game

In typical NRL fashion, the meaning is rather crude: F*** Any C***, an ‘us versus them’ battle cry.

Klemmer is currently fighting to save his job with the Knights after being caught on camera refusing to leave the field in the club’s loss to the Bulldogs led by trainer Hayden Knowles.

The fiery attacker responded with a series of expletives to the staff when he was given the order, sparking much discussion as to why he had stepped down for this weekend’s game against Wests and asked for reasons.

It is common knowledge that tipsy attackers will often protest against substitution, and Klemmer’s actions were neither new nor reason to be dumped.

However, subsequent digging through media outlets uncovered the use of the term FEC by a Knights staffer to sign off on a conversation about Klemmer with another player, News Corp has reported.

Then, this week, Jahrome Luai posted a cryptic Instagram post featuring his halves partner Cleary and the big letters FEC. Cleary had just been suspended.

Luai used the FEC slogan online to seemingly protest Penrith partner Nathan Cleary's suspension for a javelin tackle that wiped him out to the NRL final

Luai used the FEC slogan online to seemingly protest Penrith partner Nathan Cleary’s suspension for a javelin tackle that wiped him out to the NRL final

Suddenly the mystery wasn’t so mysterious.

Go back 12 months and Luai used #FEC on an image of themselves and Panthers teammate Brian To’o during their first State of Origin series in an example of siege mentality at its best.

A journalist is either completely blind to the meaning of FEC, or – more likely – dropped an excellent take that could end up being quite embarrassing for Penrith players.

Peter Lang is a longtime rugby league journalist with The Western Weekender in Penrith and he has called on the crowd to sing ‘FEC’ to ‘support’ Cleary and Luai when they return.

Cleary and To'o used the acronym during the 2021 State of Origin series as motivation

Cleary and To’o used the acronym during the 2021 State of Origin series as motivation

‘FEC – FULL EXCELLENT COMBO. Yes, that’s it,’ he wrote, probably tongue in cheek.

‘I looked at the photo again and felt inspired.

“The dream team is coming back for week one of the finals. Two ultra-competitive guys who will use the disappointment of an injury, a suspension, to make sure the rest of the league pays for it when they return.

“I’d love to hear a chant from all the Panthers supporters as they run out of the tunnel in about six weeks.

‘FEC! FEC! FEC!’

“Don’t worry, they’ll know what it means … and so will you.”

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