Salford’s Justin Carney has been banned for eight matches and fined £300 by the RFL after pleading guilty to a charge of Grade F verbal abuse based on race/colour.
.@SalfordDevils An Independent Operational Rules Tribunal found him Guilty of Grade F charge. Player banned for 8 matches and fined £300 (2/4)
— The RFL (@TheRFL) May 2, 2017
The 28-year-old was sent off in the 26th minute of the club’s Challenge Cup fifth-round win against Toronto on 23rd April.
Carney pleaded guilty to an abuse charge, but contested its severity.
A statement on the Red Devils’ website said: “Justin has today pleaded guilty to a charge of misconduct being that, in the game against Toronto Wolfpack on 23 April he used verbal abuse to an opposition player based on race/colour, although he did contest the severity of the charge.
“Whilst Justin has admitted using the offending words in an abusive manner, he did not intend his words to be taken in a “racial” context. Justin is an indigenous Australian and is proud of his Aboriginal heritage. He stands firm on the position that he is not nor has he ever been a racist.
“He is grateful that having received several letters of support from within the RFL community both here and in Australia, the Tribunal today has accepted that he is not a racist. He is also grateful for the courtesy and fairness shown to him during the hearing today.
“The outcome of the tribunal means he has been suspended for eight matches and fined £300. One game of this has already been served as Carney did not play in last weekend’s win over Widnes Vikings while awaiting the outcome of the Tribunal.
“Justin will now undertake an internal investigation (pending any subsequent appeal) into his conduct by Salford Red Devils. The Club takes all disciplinary matters concerning race, creed and religion extremely seriously and embraces the sports strict code of conduct.”