Potgieter fined for homophobic slur

Date published: March 23 2015

Waratahs back-rower Jacques Potgieter has been fined $20,000 for making a homophobic slur in Sunday's match with the Brumbies.

Following an internal investigation into an incident during the NSW Waratahs v ACT Brumbies match, Jacques Potgieter has been reprimanded by the ARU and fined $20,000 (with $10,000 suspended).

Potgieter admitted to using offensive language directed towards Brumbies players during the match, and was sanctioned by the Australian Rugby Union after the matter was referred to them by SANZAR.

Potgieter expressed remorse over the incident, and apologised for any harm caused by his remarks.

“I’m very sorry for any offence caused by what I said on the field during a heated encounter,” Potgieter said.

“It was an offhand remark made without thought for the hurt it could cause to those around me.”

Waratahs Rugby CEO Greg Harris said the incident was unfortunate, given the efforts of the sport to be an inclusive environment.

“Jacques made an error in judgement, despite having completed the ARU’s Integrity Training, which includes the Member Protection Policy around Inclusion and Racism,” Harris said.

“Our players have been educated around the importance of respect and integrity on the field, and this incident was directly in conflict to these values.

“There is no place for homophobia or any form of discrimination in our game and we have endeavoured as a club to embody these values on and off the field.

“We pride ourselves on a strong culture, and this incident is by no means definitive of our collective identity as a football club.”

Potgieter’s penalty relates to a breach of the ARU Code of Conduct, which prohibits homophobic or racist comments.

The ARU, Waratahs Rugby, the Rugby Union Players’ Association (RUPA) and the player himself, have determined that the matter does not need to be heard by a Tribunal and accepted this penalty.