Homophobic tattoo
2 min read

A young Sydney junior footballer has been caught in a social media firestorm after offensive tattoos, including a homophobic slur, were spotted during a recent match and posted on social media.

The incident highlights the ongoing fight against homophobia in rugby league and football leagues across Australia.

The unnamed player sported two highly offensive tattoos on his legs – “eat s**t f****t” and “snort lines and f**k” – while participating in the Luke Lewis Cup, a local junior competition in the Southern suburbs of Sydney.


Photos shared on the junior league’s social media platforms inadvertently captured the tattoos, sparking outrage among fans.

The offending tattoo image that appeared on social media that is still appearing on websites. (Reddit)
The offending tattoo image that appeared on social media is still appearing on websites. (Reddit)

Following swift action, the photos were removed, and the Cronulla Junior League issued the player a stern warning. The ultimatum is clear: cover up the tattoos or face a ban from competing in any sanctioned New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) competition.

“We have a zero-tolerance policy for any form of bullying, harassment, or vilification towards people with diverse sexualities and genders,” declared an NSWRL spokesperson on The Daily Telegraph. This stance reflects the league’s commitment to inclusivity, ensuring all players feel safe and respected regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

In the organisation’s 2023 Annual Report, the CEO David Trodden stated, “The NSWRL understands the importance of community programs and continued to invest heavily in them in 2023 across the core engagement pillars of First Nations people, All Abilities, LGBTQ+, Gender, Equity and Cultural Diversity.

And yet, out of the five programmes that were listed during that year to cover that statement not one of them had anything to do with LGBTQ+ diversity training or information.

Chris Bannerman, General Manager of Cronulla Juniors, reported the incident to the NSWRL. He confirmed that the player must find a way to conceal the tattoos if he wishes to continue his rugby league career.

“Cronulla JRL has issued the player an official warning and asked him to cover the offending tattoos,” stated the NSWRL spokesperson.

“Being an inclusive sport not only reflects our core values, it also reflects the diversity of our local communities,” the spokesperson said to the Daily Telegraph.

The player now faces a critical decision. Will he choose to remove or cover his tattoos to pursue his passion for the game? Failure to do so will result in immediate removal from the field should the tattoos be visible again, as confirmed by Bannerman.

This incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of inclusivity and respect within the sporting community and is an addition to the previous stories we have covered just this year from the AFL. We have a long way to go.

Last Updated on Jun 17, 2024

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