Stoinis slur a 'two alphas' stoush: coach

Scott Bailey and Jason Phelan
Marcus Stoinis' outburst was the result of an ongoing feud between "two alpha males" says his coach

Melbourne Stars coach David Hussey has issued a clarifying statement after describing the homophobic slur made by Marcus Stoinis as the result of a battle between "two alpha males" that went a "little bit too far".

Hussey's comments raised eyebrows after Stoinis was fined $7500 after pleading guilty to an abusive comment directed at the Melbourne Renegades' Kane Richardson in the Stars' win on Saturday night.

The light punishment has drawn criticism from several quarters, including former Test player Simon Katich.

On Tuesday morning, Hussey said that the distasteful comment had arisen out of years of banter between the two World Cup teammates, and that Stoinis immediately regretted his outburst.

"All I know is Marcus is really apologetic, he was actually distraught after the game," Hussey told SEN.

"He's spoken to Kane and it's been done with now and we hopefully can just move on.

"There's two alpha males going at it and trying to win for their respective teams. I thought it (the back and forth) was good for the game, yet it probably went a little bit too far.

"It's been going on for probably a good four or five seasons now."

Hussey's characterisation of the incident was perceived by some as a defense of Stoinis' actions, leading the coach to issue a statement later on Tuesday.

"While banter is common on the field, that is not an excuse for offensive or derogatory comments or behaviour that clearly crosses the line," Hussey said.

"We encourage our players to be competitive but above all fair and Marcus has accepted the consequences of his actions.

"Both from a personal perspective and what the Stars represent overall, we are committed to supporting an inclusive environment where everyone in the community is treated with equality and respect."

Stoinis is the second player to be hit with a charge for making a homophobic comment this summer, with James Pattinson banned for one Test over a similar matter.

On that occasion, prior offences contributed to Pattinson's harsher punishment.

Katich, who played 56 Tests for Australia between 2001 and 2010, questioned the comments from Hussey.

"What I don't understand about that comment is 'it's been going on for four or five seasons'," he said.

"What is the back story?

"There is no doubt Marcus would be apologetic but you've got to control your emotions on the field when it gets to that level."