South Sydney and Kiwis hooker Issac Luke is under investigation by the NRL integrity unit after posting a homophobic slur on Instagram.
Luke, responding to taunts from Bulldogs fans, wrote: “Get off my page you lil poofters.”
A last-minute penalty gave the Rabbitohs an 18-17 win in Friday night’s controversial game.
Bulldogs fans hurled bottles at match officials as they were escorted from the field by security, resulting in touch judge Darren Alchin being taken to hospital with a suspected broken shoulder.
Two of the culprits have been identified and now face court action and a lifetime ban from the game.
Initially, Luke’s intentions were good – he was trying to identify the South Sydney fan who was injured in a separate incident and also taken to hospital.
Luke had arranged to donate a jersey and drop some Easter eggs to the fan. But when his Instagram request was the subject of offensive comments, he dropped the ball.
“Get off my page you lil poofters.” Luke posted.
“This is about a kid your fans knocked out. Well now two kids Yous dropped. We train at Redfern come down and see if you fellas are still carrying on #rulesarerules even though it was a hard penalty to take. I bet yous would’ve done the same had we done it to one of your players. Or we would’ve have even had u gooses commenting had it happened earlier on in the game. Now get off my page.”
Luke later deleted the post.
On Saturday night, the Rabbitohs issued a statement, saying they were disappointed by Luke’s “inappropriate use of language”.
“Issac understands his responsibilities as a public person and has made a commitment not to react in this manner again to offensive comments on social media.”
Later, Luke posted an apology on his Instagram account.
“Thanks to everyone who helped me find the young fella,” he wrote.
“I managed to get a hold of two young fellas that happened to have been affected. Also I just wanna apologise for what I said to fans. I was very worried and my emotion got the better of me I didn’t mean to offend anyone. Just tip me up if I’m being silly peeps. Thanks to those who did. #respect everyone. Love yous all.”
The incident comes just weeks after Waratahs forward Jacques Potgieter was fined $10,000 by the Australian Rugby Union for making homophobic slurs during a match against the Brumbies.
He admitted to using the term “faggot” against his opponents and apologised unreservedly.