England prop Marler gets 2-game ban, fined for racial slur

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England prop Joe Marler

England prop Joe Marler

England prop Joe Marler was banned for two matches on Tuesday and ordered by rugby's governing body to pay 20,000 pounds ($28,300) to an equality charity for using a racial slur toward an opponent during a Six Nations match.

World Rugby charged Marler with misconduct retrospectively after both England's Rugby Football Union and Six Nations Rugby took no further action against him for calling Wales prop Samson Lee a "Gypsy boy" in England's 25-21 win on March 12.

A three-man judicial committee said Marler's remark was "unsporting and discriminatory," and brought the game into disrepute.

Marler accepted the charge and said he would abide by any sanction given by World Rugby. He apologized to Lee during halftime of the game and was reprimanded by England head coach Eddie Jones, but the decision not to sanction him caused an outcry.

The ban covers two games for Marler's English club, Harlequins, and he is free to play again on April 18. The fine must be paid to a suitable charity in the U.K., World Rugby said.

The judicial committee said it took into account the fact that Marler was proactive in apologizing to Lee, that he issued a public apology and that he is a "person of good character and had no similar misconduct charges."

World Rugby said it chose to take action against Marler because of "the absence of such a process by Six Nations Rugby in accordance with the regulations."

-AP

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