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Waratahs forward fined for anti-gay slur in Super Rugby game

March 23, 2015

SYDNEY (AP) — The Australian Rugby Union has fined Jacques Potgieter 20,000 Australian dollars ($15,600) after the New South Wales Waratahs forward made an anti-gay slur during a Super Rugby match against the ACT Brumbies on Sunday.

The ARU issued a statement Monday saying the Sydney-based South African forward admitted making “comments contrary to the Australian Rugby Union’s Inclusion Policy.”

Half the fine was suspended, and Potgieter was ordered to undergo educational and awareness training.

“We take the issue of homophobia in sport seriously and want to provide a positive environment for everyone involved in rugby,” ARU chief executive Bill Pulver said. “Comments of this nature cannot be tolerated.”

ACT forward David Pocock, a vocal advocate of same-sex marriage, complained to referee Craig Joubert about the slurs during the match and it was referred to the ARU.

The 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,” Pulver said. “There is absolutely no place for any form of discrimination in our game and our actions and words on and off the field must reflect that.”

The ARU said the Waratahs, the Rugby Union Players’ Association and Potgieter had determined that the matter does not need to be heard by a tribunal and accepted the penalty.

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