You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Salford’s Justin Carney suspended for eight matches for racial abuse

The Guardian logo The Guardian 2/05/2017 Aaron Bower
Justin Carney: Salford’s Justin Carney pleaded guilty to a charge of racial abuse but disputed the severity of the charge. © PA Salford’s Justin Carney pleaded guilty to a charge of racial abuse but disputed the severity of the charge.

Salford are to launch an internal investigation after the winger Justin Carney was banned for eight matches after pleading guilty to a charge of racial abuse.

Carney was involved in an incident in the Challenge Cup tie against Toronto Wolfpack and was issued with a charge of verbal abuse based on race/colour by the Rugby Football League’s disciplinary panel.

The hearing was postponed for a week at Salford’s request. Carney pleaded guilty, although he disputed the severity of the charge, at a hearing at the RFL’s Leeds headquarters which took over two hours to reach a conclusion on Tuesday evening.

Related: Great Britain's rugby league Lions edge closer to a southern hemisphere tour

An independent tribunal found Carney guilty, suspended him for eight games and fined him £300. Salford said that pending a decision on whether Carney will appeal he will now be the subject of a club investigation.

“Justin will undertake an internal investigation into his conduct by Salford Red Devils,” the Super League side said in a statement. “The club takes all disciplinary matters concerning race, creed and religion extremely seriously and embraces the sports strict code of conduct.”

Salford said the tribunal accepted Carney was “not a racist” and that his comments was not meant to be taken in the context they were. “He is grateful that having received several letters of support from within the community both here and in Australia, the tribunal has accepted he is not a racist. He is also grateful for the courtesy and fairness shown to him during the hearing.

“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.”

Carney sat out last weekend’s victory against Widnes, meaning he has already served one game of the ban.

More from The Guardian

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon