Jacques Potgieter issued $20,000 fine for homophobic comments

by RUGBY.com.au staff

The Australian Rugby Union today fined NSW Waratahs player Jacques Potgieter $20,000 (with $10,000 suspended), following an incident during Sunday afternoon’s match against the Aquis Brumbies.

Potgieter admitted making comments contrary to the Australian Rugby Union’s Inclusion Policy.

He will also be required to undergo additional education and awareness training.

The sanction was determined following an investigation by the ARU’s Integrity Unit, after the matter was referred to the ARU by SANZAR late Monday afternoon.

The incident follows the endorsement of an ARU Inclusion Policy in August 2014, which is designed to stamp out all forms of discrimination and homophobia in Rugby.

ARU CEO Bill Pulver said: “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.”

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

The ARU, Waratahs and 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.