Benji Marshall's former Kiwis teammate Roy Asotasi says National Rugby League stars are subject to racial taunts but need to be smart in how they respond to them.
South Sydney captain Asotasi was commenting in the wake of an alleged racial slur Marshall suffered in the early hours of Saturday morning before the incident which led to the Wests Tigers star being charged with assault.
Asotasi says players need to learn to walk away from such situations as they are a role model and a lot of people are watching their actions.
The bad publicity surrounding Marshall, who launched the new season last week as the new face of the game, has handed the NRL another tough start to a new season.
Marshall had spoken at the launch about his desire to preserve a relatively clean off-field record.