The National Rugby League Women’s Premiership has struck Newcastle player Caitlin Moran with the ban hammer because she criticized the late queen.
On September 8, following the announcement of Queen Elizabeth II‘s passing, the 25-year-old took to her Instagram stories to express her controversial opinion on the matter. In the post, there was a photo of Her Majesty with the caption:
“Todays a good fkn day, uncle Luke announces his tour, and this dumb dog dies. Happy fkn Friday “
The story has since been deleted, but not before being caught by the National Rugby League‘s integrity unit, which came to the conclusion the post was unacceptable. On Tuesday, the league announced they planned to ban Caitlin for one match. And if you’re not familiar with rugby — it means she’s been banned for one-fifth of the entire season!
Not only that, she also received a suspended fine of 25% and will be forced to undergo education and training around the appropriate use of social media. Moran has become the first player in NRLW’s history to be banned for an off-field matter.
Her coach, Ronald Griffiths of the Newcastle Knights, came to his player’s defense on Sunday — and he mentioned the “complicated” relationship between the royal family and Indigenous people:
“The relationship between Indigenous people and the monarchy is a complicated one. If Caitlin has done something then it will be investigated by the Integrity Unit and we’ll work our way through the process.”
Professor of Indigenous studies, Sandy O’Sullivan, spoke to The Guardian on Tuesday and explained the native population’s reaction, including Caitlin’s, with a more historical context:
“For those saying we should be magnanimous about the passing of the queen, a reminder that the queen inserted herself into the lives of Indigenous people here multiple times. She wasn’t a bystander to the effects of colonization and colonialism, she was an architect of it.”
Seriously unfair! People should be allowed to express disappointment in government officials who have let them and their communities down. Listening to marginalized voices and making changes is the only way we can all be better supported and fully treated as equal.
The NRL, however, stand by their opinion. They say the comments the fullback made were inappropriate no matter the context:
“Rugby league is an inclusive game and has a proud and strong relationship with many communities. 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.”
Australia continues to be the only Commonwealth country that hasn’t signed a treaty with its Indigenous people — several other countries offer their Indigenous population political and land rights. Which is a huge problem (to say the very least), and now something like this happens…
O’Sullivan later told VICE on Wednesday the Indigenous Aboriginals never got the same respect the monarchy expects in return:
“This idea that we should be magnanimous about the passing of the queen … We never got that respect. We never got that idea that we mattered. And in fact, all we really got was exploitation.”
The former Jillaroos back has a week to either accept or dispute the decision. As of writing this, she hasn’t responded to the findings.
We truly wish Caitlin the best. What do U think about the ban, Perezcious readers? Sound OFF in the comments (below).