Waratahs back-rower Jacques Potgieter has been slapped with a $20,000 fine by the ARU after making homophobic comments during his side’s clash with the Brumbies.
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Brumbies player David Pocock approached referee David Joubert twice in the final 15 minutes of the match to complain about Potgieter’s abusive comments.
Pocock is a staunch advocate for same-sex marriages and was clearly livid with Potgieter’s “aggressive” comments.
ARU chief Bill Pulver said there was no place for homophobia or discrimination in rugby union.
“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,” Pulver said in a statement.
“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.
“I’d like to stress again that there is absolutely no place for homophobia or any form of discrimination in our game and our actions and words on and off the field must reflect that.”
Potgieter expressed his remorse following the incident.
“I’m very sorry for any offence caused by what I said on the field during a heated encounter,” Potgieter said in a Waratahs statement.
“It was an offhand remark made without thought for the hurt it could cause to those around me.”