Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis was Sunday slapped with a hefty fine after calling Kane Richardson a “faggot” during the Melbourne Big Bash Cricket League derby on Saturday night.
The Melbourne Stars player apologised after being found guilty of breaching Cricket Australia’s code of conduct and penalised Aus$7,500 (US$5,200).
“I got caught in the moment and took it too far,” Stoinis said of the incident during the clash with cross-town rivals Melbourne Renegades on Saturday.
“I realised immediately I was in the wrong and I apologise to Kane and to the umpires.
“I did the wrong thing and accept responsibility for my actions. The standards are there for a reason and I accept the penalty.”
Cricket Australia have been huge advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender inclusion in community cricket and have prided themselves on leading the way in this field.
The incident comes six weeks after fast bowler James Pattinson, currently playing for Australia in the third Test against New Zealand in Sydney, was banned for player abuse, also reportedly a homophobic slur.
His penalty, a one-match suspension which ruled him out of the first Test against Pakistan, was harsher as it was his third code of conduct breach in the past 18 months.
Industry sources confirmed Pattinson and Stoinis had made the same remarks to their respective opponents.
“The behaviour in this matter falls short of the standards we expect and we have acted accordingly,” Sean Carroll, Cricket Australia’s head of integrity and security said of the Stoinis fine.
He only referred to the matter as “personal abuse of a player”, although the Cricket Australia website characterised it as a homophobic slur.
“There is no place for it in the game,” added Carroll.
The penalty was too lenient according to Dr Ryan Storr, a Western Sydney University academic who has spearheaded several research projects in cricket including a 2017 report on LGBTIQ inclusion prepared for CA and Cricket Victoria.
“Unless there are repercussions for people saying homophobic remarks, we’re not going to get rid of them,” Dr Storr told The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.
“Within the research I did, it showed that even at grassroots level it’s still common to hear homophobic remarks.
“Across Australian sport, it’s a bit all over the place, a bit inconsistent. Sometimes you get away with it, sometimes you get a three-match ban, sometimes you get a seven K fine. There’s too much inconsistency and you need something a bit more solid to really show that it’s not acceptable.
“Why any player would make those comments, especially in light of Israel Folau and the way that’s going, you just know that’s not acceptable.”
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