South Sydney hooker Issac Luke has been fined $10,000, half of which has been suspended, by the NRL for posting a homophobic slur on social media.
Luke will also undergo an education program in tolerance and equity as part of his punishment.
Earlier this month the New Zealand rake responded to criticism of him on his Instagram account after the controversial Souths-Canterbury Good Friday clash by writing “get off my page you lil poofters”.
Luke later deleted the post and apologised for making the comment, but was still hit with the fine by the NRL on Tuesday following an investigation by the integrity unit.
“There is no place for vilification of any kind in rugby league,” the NRL said in a statement announcing the sanction against Luke.
However the game’s governing body said Luke was provoked into make the comment and took into account the fact it was deleted and his subsequent apology.
“We believe that education is the most important element in dealing with vilification matters such as this,” an NRL spokesman said.
“So we will require Issac to undertake an education program in tolerance and equity in addition to the financial penalty.”