Police may be called in to investigate a highly inflammatory racial slur directed at Newcastle Knights backrower Tyson Frizell on social media during Friday night's game against the Wests Tigers in Brisbane.
It's understood the Knights contacted the NRL after Frizell reported the abuse with the NRL Integrity Unit already aware of the Instagram post.
The post read: "Oi ya gronk do something you f.....g c....ut. I need points on fantasy league."
The Knights, in camp on the Sunshine Coast to prepare for Thursday night's game against North Queensland Cowboys, would not comment when contacted by the Newcastle Herald yesterday.
A spokesman for the NRL said it would be up to Frizell if the matter is to go further, which appears likely given his stance on similar abuse in the past.
"The Integrity Unit is aware of the social media post and will speak with Tyson this week and ask him if he would like the matter referred to the police," the spokesman said.
Only last month, two men were arrested and charged by police for allegedly racially abusing South Sydney fullback Latrell Mitchell on social media.
A 22-year-old Taree man and a 25-year-old Lake Munmorah man were granted bail and will face court this month charged with using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence.
Mitchell, who is currently serving a suspension, was widely praised for calling out the abuse. Back in 2019, Frizell came out publicly to laud Mitchell for complaining about being abused to ensure it wasn't swept under the carpet.
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"Boys can cop abuse in terms of the way you play or not being a good player but for people to come out and be personal, saying things about your family or using racial slurs... it's something we can't tolerate as players," Frizell was quoted at the time.
"It's good people are becoming aware of it and we're able to say something and make something happen, not just sweep it under the carpet and ask people to ignore it."
Meanwhile, AAP reports Queensland have been hit with a massive State of Origin blow with Josh Papalii needing to beat a high tackle charge at the NRL judiciary to play in the series opener.
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Papalii was one of 10 players charged from Saturday's games at Magic Round. Included in that list are Papalii's Canberra teammates Jack Wighton and Josh Hodgson, who are facing one-game bans for dangerous contact.
The looming suspensions come at the worst possible time for the Raiders, who have Melbourne and Penrith in the next fortnight after only just snapping a five-game losing streak. But it is Papalii's charge that has the biggest ramifications.
The Raiders prop was hit with a grade-three careless high tackle charge for his shot on Canterbury's Tui Katoa, resulting in Papalii being sent off.
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