New South Wales Waratahs’ player, Jacques Potgieter, has been fined $20,000 (€14,348) for calling two opposing players ‘faggots’.
The South African native admitted to calling two players on the Brumbies ‘faggots’ during a match yesterday, which ended in a 28-13 win for the Waratahs. The opposing team is said to have complained about Potgieter’s language to the referee on at least two occasions during the match in Sydney.
The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) handed out the massive fine today, although the player will not be suspended from the game and is expected to by competing in a match against the the Auckland Blues next weekend.
Potgieter apologised for the comments saying there was no weight to his words. “I’m very sorry for any offense caused by what I said on the field during a heated encounter,” he said. “It was an off-hand remark made without thought for the hurt it could cause to those around me.”
Greg Harris,Waratahs Rugby chief executive, said Potgieter made an error in judgement despite having completed the ARU’s Integrity Training – which includes training on inclusion and racism.
“Our players have been educated around the importance of respect and integrity on the field, and this incident was directly in conflict to these values,” commented Harris. “We pride ourselves on a strong culture, and this incident is by no means definitive of our collective identity as a football club.”
ARU chief executive Bill Pulver added, “We take the issue of homophobia in sport seriously and want to provide a positive environment for everyone involved in rugby. Comments of this nature cannot be tolerated.
“Our Inclusion Policy reinforces Australian rugby’s commitment to ensure every individual, whether they’re players, supporters, coaches or administrators, feel safe, welcome and included regardless of race, gender or sexuality.”
Along with the fine, Potgieter will have to undergo additional awareness and inclusion training.
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