The National Rugby League (NRL) has issued an apology after Parramatta Eels player Chris Walker tweeted a comment containing a homophobic slur.

On March 21 Walker tweeted “Paging doctor faggot”, “u better go doctor faggot”,  “rogain check”.

When Sydney DJ Seymour Butz challenged Walker on Twitter about the comment, the footballer responded, “go 4 it… Look forward to hearing more about it when u go 2 the NRL??? Wen should I b expecting a call???”

However, he later deleted the comment and tweeted, “I’m sorry 2 all those people [who] think I’m homophobic, I’m not, I was quoting a scene from the movie [The] Hangover!”

Aaron Smith, a gay Eels fan also saw the comment and brought it to the NRL’s attention, writing that although he knew the comment was a line from a movie, he had “been a Parramatta Eels fan all of my life, and I just happen to be a homosexual man who in my younger years has dealt with being called this awful term”.

An NRL representative later emailed Smith to apologise.

“We are sorry that Chris’ comments have upset you and your friends,” the representative wrote.

“Chris has publicly apologised on Twitter for his comments and clarified that he was quoting from the movie Hangover.”

“We apologise for any offence taken and have ensured your feedback is passed on.”

On March 22, Walker tweeted Smith, writing, “hi Aaron, about tweet last nite about the reference to the movie Hangover, I’m sorry and didn’t mean to offend any1”.

“Glad you deleted your homophobic diss & thanks for the public apology,” Butz later tweeted Walker.

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