Newcastle NRLW star Caitlin Moran has been handed a massive penalty from the NRL in response to a shocking post about Queen Elizabeth II's death.
Moran sparked widespread backlash last week when she appeared to celebrate the Queen's death, just hours after news of the British monarch's death was reported.
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“Todays a good fkn day, uncle Luke announces his tour, and this dumb dog dies Happpy fkn Friday,” Moran wrote, with the likes of radio host Ray Hadley labelling it 'reprehensible'.
The post was eventually deleted after around eight hours, but screenshots of it have been viewed by the NRL's integrity unit.
Hadley and other rugby league fans insisted she should not have been allowed to play over the weekend as a result of the post.
However, the former Jillaroos star made her return on Sunday after taking extended time to recover from an ACL injury suffered back in 2018.
The NRL allowed the investigation of Moran to be deferred until this week, allowing her to come off the bench for 24 minutes in the Knights' 18-16 loss to the Roosters.
Late on Tuesday, however, the NRL announced that Moran would be banned for one match - which equates to one-fifth of the NRLW season.
The Indigenous Knights star also received a suspended fine of 25 per cent of her salary and will be made to undergo education and training around the appropriate use of social media.
The former Jillaroos back becomes the first women's player to be banned for an off-field matter in the NRLW's history.
It comes after Knights coach Ronald Griffiths threw his support behind Moran, acknowledging that the death of the Queen had prompted mixed emotions within the Indigenous community.
With the legacy of the colonial British empire still felt around the world, many Indigenous Australians are strongly opposed to celebrating what the late Queen stood for.
Newcastle coach backs Caitlin Moran after post
When asked, Griffiths said he "wasn't worried" about what Moran had posted and said he was confident it would be dealt with appropriately.
“The relationship between Indigenous people and the monarchy is a complicated one," he said.
"If Caitlin has done something then it will be investigated by the Integrity Unit and we’ll work our way through the process.”
"We're talking a little bit of negativity with Caitlin, but if we look at we're she's come from, in 2017 she wins us the World Cup and does her knee the year after and has probably in the wilderness since then."
However the NRL said the comments were unacceptable, no matter the circumstances.
"Rugby league is an inclusive game and has a proud and strong relationship with many communities," the league said in a statement.
"Regardless of any personal views, all players and officials must adhere to the professional standards expected of them and on this occasion the public comments made by the player have caused damage to the game."
Moran was not named by the Knights for their final-round clash with St George Illawarra, with Tamika Upton returning at fullback.
The 25-year-old has until next Tuesday to decide whether to accept the finding.
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