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Rugby player sent off for calling opponent a ‘f**king faggot’

Josh Jackman August 8, 2018
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Epere (right) was the first player to be sent off all season (cowen epere/facebook)

A rugby league player has been sent off after calling an opponent a “f**cking faggot” during a match.

Cowen Epere, who plays for Western Suburbs Magpies in Australia’s Intrust Super Premiership NSW, is facing a $1,500 fine after being hit with a grade-one contrary conduct charge.

This isn’t the first time a rugby player has hit the headlines for making an on-field anti-gay comment, with rugby union centre Mathieu Bastareaud dropped from the France squad after calling another player a “f**king faggot.”

Epere was dismissed with 10 minutes left in his side’s 38-10 defeat to Penrith Panthers after referee Kasey Badger told him he had used what she called a “homosexual slur,” Stuff has reported.

Epere has admitted to using the slur (cowenepere/instagram)

The 22-year-old prop got involved in a dispute with Panthers player Adam Keighran, who he called a “f**king pussy” before moving onto the anti-gay term.

He became the first player to be sent off all season.

Epere has entered an early guilty plea, and therefore won’t face a ban.

In April, England rugby star Denny Solomona was banned from playing for four weeks after he used an anti-gay insult against Worcester fly-half Jamie Shillcock.

Denny Solomona of England looks on during a recovery session at the Hilton Vilamoura on November 2, 2017 in Vilamoura, Portugal. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Denny Solomona (Dan Mullan/Getty)

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) doled out the punishment to Solomona after Shillcock accused him of using “a homophobic slur twice” during an altercation 55 minutes into the match.

He was initially given an initial six-week suspension, but the ban was reduced to four weeks after citing a number of “mitigating factors” such as his recent record and conduct at the hearing.

Solomona, who plays for the Sale Sharks player in the top tier of English rugby, was banned from playing until May 8, which effectively benched him for the rest of the season.

Bastareaud was initially defended by France coach Jacques Brunel – who was also banned for three weeks – saying that he could not be homophobic because he is black.

Mathieu Bastareaud (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Mathieu Bastareaud (David Rogers/Getty)

Brunel said Bastareaud knows what it feels like to be stigmatised because he “has coloured skin,” adding: “I don’t believe (because of this) that he could have acted in such a way.”

The player also had his actions defended by his club, with Toulon saying that it was “convinced that Mathieu used these unfortunate comments whilst in a state of aggravation, as can happen regularly during a game of rugby and that he is not at all homophobic.

“This kind of language should not allow people to condemn our captain who has always defended the rich diversity between individuals and proves it every day within our heterogeneous group of players.”

Epere is facing a fine (cowen epere/facebook)

Also earlier this year, a baseball player was banned for two games by his club after using an anti-gay slur during a televised game.

Toronto Blue Jays’ Kevin Pillar shouted “you faggot” at Atlanta Braves pitcher Jason Motte after he was struck out.

Related topics: Anti-gay, Australia, Australia, New South Wales, Rugby, sport

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