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Wests Tigers' Mitchell Moses banned for two games over gay slur in Under-20s Origin match

Banned: Tigers five-eighth Mitchell Moses.

Banned: Tigers five-eighth Mitchell Moses. Photo: Jonathan Ng

Wests Tigers and NSW playmaker Mitchell Moses has apologised to Queensland Under-20s lock Josh Bateman and NRL officials for the homophobic slur that has cost him a two match suspension.

Moses, who called Bateman a ‘‘f---ing gay c---’’ as the teams packed a 69th minute scrum during Saturday night’s Under-20s State of Origin, attended Rugby League Central to apologise to officials in person and also spoke to the promising Canberra forward about the offensive remark, which was heard by television viewers.

NRL head of football Todd Greenberg said the comments were not acceptable under any circumstances and that Moses had become the first player suspended for breaching the game’s anti-vilification policy. The Tigers playmaker, who steered NSW to a 30-8 win, was also ordered to undergo an anti-vilification education and awareness program.

Spiteful: The Under-20s Origin clash on Saturday night featured a string of flare-ups.

Spiteful: The Under-20s Origin clash on Saturday night featured a string of flare-ups. Photo: Getty Images

‘‘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,’’ Greenberg 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.’’

The incident occurred less than a month after the NRL, Australian Rugby Union, Football Federation Australia, the AFL and Cricket Australia, held a joint press conference to announce they were committed to ensuring homophobic slurs were not part of their sports.

9 comments so far

  • Moses, who called Bateman a ‘‘f---ing gay c---’’ Really, and he gets 2 weeks for that?
    My God what has the world come to? Sticks and Stones people.
    We have become so precious that people get upset with a few words said on a football field, give me a break & suck it up.

    And as for a program to improve his awareness and understanding of the importance of eliminating discrimination, particularly homophobia, in the game.’’ What a W--K.
    The NRLPC more like it?

    Date and time
    May 06, 2014, 6:46AM
    • Murr? Murray Mozza middle of the road mate! White? Straight? Bethcha! Straya Day! Have you ever been marginalised/abused because you are different. No wonder some young people have no idea about what is appropriate and what is not.

      Date and time
      May 06, 2014, 3:07PM
  • It is good to see the NRL taking a stand against offensive language and behaviour, especially seeing as these sportsmen are held up as roll models for many kids.

    However, I think a two match suspension might be a little harsh. Perhaps a single game would have been more appropriate (although another player was suspended for four games for having c*** written on their wrist strap .. so perhaps not).

    Date and time
    May 06, 2014, 7:55AM
    • I'm looking forward to the day the vilified player says "I am gay and "proud, but I do object to being called a c***

      Date and time
      May 06, 2014, 7:58AM
      • Thanks Mitchell. As a Gay man and a long standing supporter of Rugby League and the Tigers - I accept your apology. A steep learning curve I'm sure - but a reminder that words and language have the power to offend and alienate not only a fellow player, but also league supporters (and potential league supporters) in the broader community.

        I'll be cheering for you as your career continues to take off.

        Glebe NSW

        Date and time
        May 06, 2014, 9:36AM
        • Where are anti vilification and awareness programs held? I've not seen them in the community education programs in my area. Can we nominate other rugby league personnel (commentators, trainers, coaches) to also undergo such training?

          Date and time
          May 06, 2014, 11:53AM
          • What a sad state our society is in when someone can use two words than you cannot print in a newspaper or broadcast over TV and everyone is fine with that but because he put another word in between that is offensive to no-one, not even gay people, it suddenly becomes unacceptable. Perhaps if he had called the guy a "dirty faggot" or something that is actually derogatory towards gay people, there might be something to it but the word is purely descriptive, no worse that "stupid", "fat" or "ugly", none of which would have raised an eyebrow. This is political correctness gone berserk.

            Date and time
            May 06, 2014, 12:50PM
            • Bit of a silly aside but........anyone remember Ian Roberts thrashing Gary Jack years ago, well please excuse and correct me if I am wrong, but I am of the understanding that flogging was retribution for Garry slagging off Ian with respect his sexuality.
              So show Mitchell that footage, and allow Ian to explain to him that using homosexuality as an abuse has no factual significance. Fair lesson appropriately delivered!!
              Now seriously - tis great the NRL is working toward inclusive respect for all lovers of the game. And I suspect Mitchell's words (field banter) were ill considered rather than specifically literal. And certainly I don't think anyone just making a silly (isolated) mistake, or who is treating others decently, has any need to fear Ian Roberts wrath.

              Date and time
              May 08, 2014, 1:42PM
              • NRL = Nancy Rugby League

                I can't see the problem. Is the "victim" gay, or us he a "c##t". Either way, he and the do gooders at the NRL should build a bridge and get over it. The sport is becoming a laughing stock of poofed-up pampered lady boys.

                Freddy b
                Date and time
                May 11, 2014, 3:37PM

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