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Remorseful Montoya banned for four matches

7.35pm: Montoya has been suspended for four matches. He will return in the round 10 match against the Rabbitohs.

7.10pm: The panel has adjourned after listening to an eight-point summation from McLeod on Montoya's behalf.

6.55pm: McLeod argued for the penalty sought by Gyles to be halved, saying a three match ban with a one match reduction for pleading guilty and Montoya's remorse would be acceptable.

6.50pm: Gyles told the panel Montoya should be suspended for six matches for the offence but sought a four match ban due to his previous good record, the remorse he had shown and his guilty plea.

“It’s a derogatory term which can promote discrimination and hatred of gay men,” Gyles said. 

“The use of that term is unacceptable in modern society and everyone connected with the game has the right to feel safe and protected.” 

6.45pm: NRL legal counsel Lachlan Gyles declined to cross examine Montoya. 

6.40pm: George told the hearing, via video link from Auckland, that he had advised Montoya that the Warriors would be making a public apology.

"He was encouraging of it. We understand the offence and that's why we acted as quickly as we could," George said. "He's a true gentleman of the game. I first interviewed him in 2020. He impressed me with his professional nature, his caring nature and a very strong competitive nature. 

"It's clear to me that he was a leader in the making and he joined our leadership group on the basis of the attributes he shows day in and day out. He's caring and this is so out of character."

George spoke of Montoya doing charity work with homeless and doing a charity bike ride while club was stuck on Gold Coast.

6.35pm: Montoya revealed that he contacted Warriors coach Nathan Brown and CEO Cameron George to advise them that he had been the player who made the slur.

"I called my coach on Saturday about lunchtime and I spoke to Browny about the situation. I took responsibility. I spoke to Cameron on Sunday morning. I told Cameron it was me and I took full responsibility for what I said."

6.28pm: Asked why he used the word towards Feldt, Montoya said: "Obviously in the heat of the moment on the footy field things are said and I totally understand and accept that the word I used is unacceptable. It is something that is definitely out of my character. It was definitely a poor choice of words. There was no intention by me to offend anyone or offend Kyle. It was just the heat of the moment and it was just a word that come out. I used the word to get under his skin or to just upset him. It wasn't used to refer to his sexuality at all. I am not a homophobe and gays in the community are valued. That is my position. I take full responsibility for that and I am ready for whatever is to come next".

6.25pm: Montoya made a public apology over the incident to Feldt, the NRL and the gay community.

"I acknowledge and accept that the comment I made on Friday night is completely unacceptable. If you know the person I am you would know this is completely out of character. I am fully remorseful for my actions," Montoya said.

"In saying all of this I would like to apologise to Kyle Feldt, to the NRL and to the gay community, and anyone else that I have offended, as I know and respect the work that the NRL has done to ensure inclusiveness and diversity within the NRL community." 

6.22pm: Montoya admits making the comments towards Feldt and agrees that it was totally unacceptable to use the words that he did. 

6.20pm: Questioned by his legal counsel, James McLeod, who is also appearing remotely, Montoya tells the panel he has played 78 NRL matches and 14 Tests for Fiji.

During that time his only judiciary blemish was a grade one contrary conduct charge in 2018 for throwing the ball at an opponent.

6.15pm: The hearing begins with the panel watching and listening to audio of Warriors players appealing to referee Todd Smith not to penalise Montoya for a high tackle on former team-mate Peta Hiku.

"It's not a knock-on, he hits him so hard the ball goes into him," fullback Reece Walsh said in reference to the ball being dislodged after the tackle and going backwards.

Prop Matt Lodge even makes reference to Cowboys coach Todd Payten's comments about teams near the bottom of the ladder being less favoured.

"You're kidding, because Todd had a whinge to you," Lodge could be heard to say".

Five-eighth Chanel Harris-Tavita added: "Are you sure, that was a great tackle".

Montoya then shouted at Feldt, who was down in back play: "Get up Kyle you fa---t". 

Warriors winger Marcelo Montoya is appearing before the NRL judiciary via video link from Brisbane, where the New Zealand club is based.

Montoya is facing a contrary conduct charge and was referred directly to the judiciary over a homophobic slur he made during last Friday night's 25-24 defeat of North Queensland at Redcliffe's Moreton Daily Stadium.

The Fiji international has pleaded guilty to the charge and was not named in the Warriors team to play Sydney Roosters at the SCG on Sunday.

His case will be heard by a panel comprising two former players Tony Puletua and Bob Lindner, and headed by judiciary chairman Geoff Bellew.

Montoya was referred straight to the judiciary after using a homophobic slur that was picked up by the in-game audio.

The slur was directed at Cowboys winger Kyle Feldt, with Warriors CEO Cameron George issuing an apology on Sunday after the charge sheet was released.

"Both Marcelo and the club are extremely apologetic for the offence this has caused. It was unacceptable," George said..

"Marcelo accepts responsibility and knows there's no place for such behaviour both in the game and in society generally."

North Queensland chief executive Jeff Reibel issued a statement on Monday to voice his extreme disappointment at Montoya's comments.

“There is absolutely no place for hurtful or divisive language in our game," Reibel said.

“As a member of Pride in Sport Australia, the Cowboys are committed to being a club who promotes diversity and inclusion for all."

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