The NRL match review committee will investigate an alleged homophobic slur in the Under-20s State of Origin rugby league match between NSW and Queensland.
The referee’s microphone picked up a NSW player calling Queensland lock Luke Bateman a “f***ing gay c***”t” and it was heard by the TV audience watching the match, which was won 30-8 by NSW at Sportingbet Stadium on Saturday.
The incident came less than a month after the NRL, along with the Australian Rugby Union, Football Federation Australia, the AFL and Cricket Australia jointly announced they were committed to policies to stamp out homophobia in their sports.
NRL chief executive Dave Smith said the match review committee would be asked to review the television coverage of Saturday’s game to determine if anyone should be cited.
He said the committee had the power to fine or suspend anyone guilty of vilification.
“There is no place for any form of discrimination in our game,” Smith said.
“Rugby League is a game for everyone and we will not tolerate slurs based on gender, race, sexuality or any other matter.
“This matter will be investigated fully and, if any player has vilified an opponent, appropriate action will be taken.”