NSW under-20s halfback Mitchell Moses has been given a two-match ban for making a homophobic on-field slur in the spiteful junior State of Origin rugby league match after he apologised on Monday.
Wests Tigers playmaker Moses was found to have breached the league’s anti-vilification policy when the NRL match review committee studied TV audio and footage from the match in Penrith on Saturday.
The NRL launched an investigation after the referee’s on-field microphone picked up Moses calling Queensland lock Luke Bateman a “f***ing gay c***”, with the outburst heard by the live tv audience.
Moses’ NSW teammate Matt Lodge faces up to four weeks on the sidelines after being slapped with a grade three detrimental conduct charge for writing “c***” on his wristband seen during the TV match coverage as well as a grade one striking charge.
NRL head of football Todd Greenberg said Moses visited Rugby League Central on Monday morning to apologise for his comment and had also said sorry to Bateman.
Greenberg said Moses would 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.”
Three other players were charged from the fiery game – Queensland’s Lloyd Perrett (grade one dangerous contact) and John Folau (grade one contrary conduct) and NSW’s Dean Britt (grade one contrary conduct).