RLPA unhappy with Moran's NRLW punishment

·3-min read

The players' union has hit out at the NRL over their handling of the Caitlin Moran social media post, labelling the punishment for her comments that appeared to celebrate the death of Queen Elizabeth II as far too severe.

The Newcastle player was handed a suspended fine of 25 per cent of her salary this week and banned for one match over the Instagram post.

She left the post up for around eight hours before it was deleted.

The Indigenous star met with NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo on Tuesday before the announcement of her sanction which mandates she undergoes training and education.

Her sanctions have split several in and out of the NRL, with members of the Indigenous community away from the sport particularly scathing.

The players' union on Thursday steered away from the political debate, but instead hit out at the NRL over the process and publishing of the proposed breach notice before it was accepted.

In doing so, the Rugby League Players Association also used the Moran case to claim several in the game had been left confused by recent integrity decisions.

"The RLPA believes a fine equivalent to 25 per cent of Caitlin's salary, although suspended, is far too severe," the RLPA said in a statement.

"Caitlin's proposed financial punishment is another example of the inconsistent and disproportionate penalties handed down to players.

"Case-by-case, the NRL has a worrying track record of inconsistent punishments given to players.

"For integrity-related matters, the RLPA has continually advocated for transparency, but we are yet to see any framework that informs the NRL's sanctions.

"The lack of a clear and transparent framework puts players in an incredibly vulnerable position and leaves many within the game scratching their heads at administrative decision making."

Abdo declined to comment when contacted by AAP given Moran has until next week to accept or dispute the NRL's punishments.

Moran was initially named by Newcastle in their squad on Tuesday afternoon, before vanishing off the team list on the club and NRL's website as the Knights claimed they supported the ban.

Her ban effectively means the former Jillaroos back misses one-fifth of the women's regular season.

Knights coach Ron Griffiths had previously moved to defend the 25-year-old over the weekend, pointing to "the relationship between Indigenous people and the monarchy" being "a complicated one".

Others have privately expressed questions over where the line is drawn on social media, pointing to a post late last year from a club trainer which compared vaccinated people to those who supported the Nazi regime, which was "liked" by several players.

But the NRL claimed this week Moran's comments had hurt the game.

"Rugby league is an inclusive game and has a proud and strong relationship with many communities," the NRL said in their 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."