Indigenous Athlete Caitlin Moran Is Suspended for Criticizing the Queen Online

After calling Queen Elizabeth II a “dumb dog” on social media, the Australian rugby player was fined a quarter of her salary and removed from a game.

Indigenous Athlete Caitlin Moran Is Suspended for Criticizing the Queen Online
Photo:Getty (Getty Images)

Even from beyond the grave, Queen Elizabeth II is still not done traumatizing the people of her former colonies.

A full 234 years after England colonized Australia in 1788—a move which initially forced Indigenous peoples to live on missions and has caused centuries of disenfranchisement thereafter—an Indigenous athlete from Australia has been fined and suspended for criticizing the queen. Vice reports that Caitlin Moran, a 25-year-old player for the Newcastle Knights in Australia’s National Women’s Rugby League (NRLW), faces a one-match ban after bad-mouthing the late monarch on social media. She will be the first player to receive such a punishment from the women’s league for off-field behavior.

“Todays a good fkn day, uncle Luke announces his tour, and this dumb dog dies Happpy fkn Friday,” Moran wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post. The post led to an investigation by the National Rugby League’s integrity unit which culminated in the aforementioned disciplinary actions. Moran’s one-match ban will exclude her from a fifth of this NRLW season. The fine she received, which has since been suspended, is roughly equivalent to a quarter of her annual salary.

“Regardless of any personal views, all players and officials must adhere to the professional standards expected of them and on this occasion the public comments made by the player have caused damage to the game,” the league wrote in a statement.

Moran’s initial sentiments sparked strong reactions from both sides. While morning radio host Ray Hadley called her actions “reprehensible” and called on her to apologize, others came to her defense, calling Hadley’s bluff in the process (the league’s male athletes have historically been involved in many sex scandals, among other horrific things). The Australian group Ladies Who League were primarily concerned with how Moran will be supported in the investigation’s aftermath. “We know female athletes are not offered the same support structures as their male athletes – so have they simply imposed a punishment or are they supporting Caitlin through this,” they tweeted.

Her Majesty’s passing has led to a domino effect of cancellations and closings (in England and beyond) that range from random to inappropriately dire. The Irish have been gleefuly partying it up, and those with roots in the African countries ransacked by the United Kingdom are similarly rejoicing. As for Moran, I’d say that throwing shade at the person who’s been at least partially responsible for your peoples’ centuries-long suffering feels perfectly appropriate and echoes the sentiments of many Indigenous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia.

According to Yahoo! Sports, Moran has until next Tuesday to accept or dispute the investigation’s findings.

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