New Zealand Warriors winger Marcelo Montoya has spoken out for the first time since pleading guilty to a contrary conduct charge.
Montoya, 26, said he is “fully remorseful” for the comment he directed at North Queensland winger Kyle Feldt following their NRL clash last Friday.
It was his 77th NRL appearance, with his side claiming a 25-24 win thanks to a drop-goal from Shaun Johnson.
He was handed a four-game ban following his homophobic slur. The winger will miss games against Sydney Roosters, Melbourne Storm, Canberra Raiders and Cronulla Sharks.
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New Zealand Warriors release statement
“I acknowledge and accept that the comment I made on Friday night is completely unacceptable,” said Montoya.
“If you know the person I am you would know this is completely out of character. I am fully remorseful for my actions.
“In saying all of this I would like to apologise to Kyle Feldt, to the NRL and to the gay community, and anyone else that I have offended, as I know and respect the work that the NRL has done to ensure inclusiveness and diversity within the NRL community.
“Moving forward I can only assure you that I have learned from this lesson and this will never happen again.”
Club CEO Cameron George said the club accepted the penalty.
“We know how disappointed Marcelo is with himself. He’s devastated and we really feel for him and what he has been going through,” he said.
“As a club we don’t condone such behaviour in any circumstances and nor does Marcelo. He will learn from this and will use it to move forward from this episode and be the best person he can be. We’ll offer him all the support he needs.”