New Zealand Warriors winger Marcelo Montoya has come under fire for directing a homophobic slur at a rival player in round five.
The CEO of the North Queensland Cowboys has called Marcelo Montoya out for directing a homophobic slur at Kyle Feldt in Friday night’s game.
On Sunday, New Zealand Warriors winger Montoya was referred directly to the NRL judiciary for his derogatory comment about Cowboys premiership-winner Feldt during the Warriors’ golden point win.
After the charge was handed down, Montoya and the Warriors released a statement apologising for the slur, which was picked up on the referee’s microphone.
Stream every game of every round of the 2022 NRL Telstra Premiership Season Live & Ad-Break Free In Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >
Cowboys CEO Jeff Reibel released a statement of his own on Monday morning, condemning Montoya’s behaviour.
“We were extremely disappointed to learn a homophobic slur was used by an opposing player during our match against the Warriors on Friday night,” said Reibel.
“There is absolutely no place for hurtful or divisive language in our game.
“As a member of Pride in Sport Australia, the Cowboys are committed to being a club who promotes diversity and inclusion for all.”
Over the weekend, Ian Roberts, the world’s first openly gay professional rugby league player, questioned why the NRL, Warriors and Cowboys had taken so long to speak publicly about the incident.
Montoya’s slur took place on Friday night but none of the three organisations released a statement on the matter until Sunday afternoon, some 44 hours later.
Roberts, a former State of Origin and Cowboys player, said he was “saddened” by the incident.
“On its website the NRL state they support #LGTBTIQA+ people and are vocal supporters of eliminating discrimination. I have waited for a statement from the NRL, the Warriors or my old club the North Queensland Cowboys – but nothing,” he tweeted on Sunday.
“This incident saddens me – for the #LGTBTIQA+ youth watching the game on Friday night. For the #LGTBTIQA+ players in the #NRL – those who are out, and those who are still on that journey. And for us as a society.
“NRL should be for everybody. On Friday night – it was not!”
For his slur, Montoya became the second player to be referred directly to the judiciary under the current judiciary structure.
He will plead his case before the panel, which will decide his penalty later this week.
Originally published as Footy boss, openly gay player slam NRL star’s homophobic slur