A former NRL star turned police officer who was sacked for refusing a Covid vaccine has made an emotional plea for his job back.
Father-of-five Justin Poore was fired from the New South Wales Police after the commissioner gave a directive in September 2021 that all officers must be vaccinated against Covid.
The New South Wales police have reinstated unvaccinated officers who resigned over the mandate, but Mr Poore and about 100 other officers who were forced to resign have been denied their jobs.
“They’re not vaccinated, I’m not vaccinated, so I don’t understand the problem,” Poore told 2GB’s Ben Fordham on Friday.
A recent ruling by the Queensland Supreme Court found that vaccination orders for that state’s police had breached the Human Rights Act, but there have currently been no similar rulings in other states or territories.
Former NRL player turned police officer Justin Poore is fighting to get his job back after he was sacked when he refused to take a mandatory Covid jab.
A Queensland court ruled that mandatory Covid vaccines for police in that state were illegal (pictured: a nurse prepared a vaccine dose in Sydney in 2021)
Mr Poore joined the police after playing for St George-Illawarra Dragons and Parramatta Eels in the NRL and representing New South Wales at the 2009 State of Origin.
He then played briefly in the UK Super League, but a knee injury forced him to retire from the sport in 2014.
He said he has since received several awards for his police service but was unceremoniously dismissed for “serious misconduct” after refusing to take a Covid jab.
“I would love to get my job back,” he said.
“I have model police officers who give me references, former NRL coaches – they have all stood up for my character and who I am as a person.”
Legendary NRL coach Wayne Bennett was one of those who provided a reference.
“I sent it to (NSW Police) Commissioner (Karen) Webb and I haven’t heard back for a month.”
The father-of-five played for the Dragons and the Eels in the NRL (pictured with his wife)
Poore said new recruits to the force are not required to be vaccinated against Covid.
‘As we heard in the Queensland court ruling, this is a violation of human rights. As a police officer, the first thing you learn in the academy is to defend human rights,” he stated.
“Recruitment has slowed down and there are a hundred good, experienced police officers willing to come back and say ‘no.’
‘Commissioner Webb simply has to change this decision.
“I’m a plumber by trade so I’m back to using the tools, but a lot of other police officers don’t have that luxury, it’s disgusting.” how they have treated us.
Poore said his five children, ages 2 to 9, often ask him why he is no longer a police officer.
‘It’s still a question I can’t answer without choking.
‘I made a decision that I believed the mandates were wrong.
“I just want my job back,” he said.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted New South Wales Police for comment.