David Gallop, the NRL chief executive, talked glibly by using a terrorist analogy, of all things, to slam the behaviour of Melbourne Storm fans.
Gallop's extreme analogy on fans was wrong
There are not many more sensitive subjects to talk glibly about than cancer, as Garry Cook, the Manchester City chief executive found out to his cost, but September 11 comes pretty close.
Nathan Eccleston, the Liverpool footballer, is about to find that out after using Twitter to suggest a secret society - the "Illuminati" - was responsible for orchestrating the terrorist attacks which devastated America in 2001.
David Gallop, the NRL chief executive, also put his foot in it this week, of all weeks, using a terrorist analogy, of all things, to slam the behaviour of Melbourne Storm fans.
In berating those among a 14,000-strong crowd at AAMI Park who booed him as he presented the NRL club with the 2011 minor premiership he said: "I never really go for that whole passion line. I mean, terrorists are passionate about what they do and, you know, that doesn't make it right."
I mean, what was he thinking?
Gallop, quite rightly, was forced to defend his comments, telling 2KY Sports Radio the analogy was taken out of context. "Of course I wasn't calling supporters terrorists, that's nonsense," Gallop said.
"I was just making the point that you can't use the expression passion as an excuse for poor behaviour. It was an extreme analogy, maybe my timing wasn't great." Too right it wasn't.
In doing so, he has taken some of the attention away from what could be Darren Lockyer's 355th and final NRL game at Suncorp Stadium tomorrow night.