The NRL said it would issue a two-match suspension to a NSW Under-20s player for breaching the League’s anti-vilification policy with comments made during Saturday night’s State of Origin match.
The player, Mitchell Moses, visited Rugby League Central this morning to apologise for the offensive remark. Mitchell has also apologised to the Queensland player involved.
NRL Head of Football, Mr Todd Greenberg, said Mitchell will also be required to undergo an anti-vilification education and awareness program as part of driving an inclusive sporting culture.
“The NRL has consistently made it clear that there is no place for any form of discrimination in our game and we will take firm action if it occurs,” he said.
“The player has accepted responsibility and apologised for his comments, which was taken into consideration in determining the penalty.
“After careful assessment, we have decided to issue the player with a two-match suspension.
“We will also require him to participate in a program to improve his awareness and understanding of the importance of eliminating discrimination, particularly homophobia, in the game.”
Mr Greenberg said all players should understand that they are role models for Rugby League.
“Our young players need to demonstrate they not only have great skill on the field but also have the right value set. This is part of being involved in and progressing Rugby League, which is a game for everyone.”
The NRL Match Review Committee reviewed the incident and recommended that the NRL act under the existing Anti-Vilification Code.
The NRL is currently canvassing advice on appropriate programs that are aimed at creating inclusive sporting cultures and eliminating homophobia in sport.
Meanwhile NSW Under-20s forward Matt Lodge is facing a two-match suspension for detrimental conduct for writing an inappropriate word on his arm tape.
Lodge is also facing a Grade 1 striking charge for a separate incident. If the player enters early guilty pleas to both charges he would face a three-match ban.