The Matty Johns show has come under attack after making a joke about Hitler on Sunday night.
As NRL fans continue to have fun with a promotion by the league allowing them to pay $22 to have a cardboard cut-out of their likeness placed in stadiums during games by sending in images of their dogs and even infamous serial killers, Johns' show responded with a gag.
• NRL: Classy Warriors moment after Dragons demolished; Question coach won't answer
• Premium - Chris Rattue: Seven takeaways from New Zealand Warriors' NRL win over the St George-Illawarra Dragons
• Rugby league: New Zealand Warriors make NRL history in win over St George Illawarra Dragons
• Rugby League: Warriors await confirmation for full contact training
They mocked up a photoshopped image of the crowd — which to be clear, wasn't ever seen inside an NRL stadium — featuring the Nazi leader seated alongside other supporters.
The CEO of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, which acts as the voice of the Jewish community in Australia, slammed the joke.
"This sort of stupidity, the casualisation of Hitler, Nazis, and by extension their crimes, is what leads to swastikas being graffitied throughout our cities and school kids being harassed with gas chamber jokes," Alex Ryvchin tweeted. "@FOXNRLLive & @MattyShowsFox should tell their viewers it's not on."
Dr Dvir Abramovich, chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission, Australia's leading civil rights organisation, also issued a statement.
"This is bad taste and trivialisation of mass murder taken to the extreme," he wrote. "When a monster such as Hitler, responsible for the deaths of millions of people, including 1.5 million children and more than 30,000 Diggers, features as a punchline and a gag on a sports show you know we have hit another low in the trivialisation of the Holocaust.
"Nazi jokes should be completely off-limits and, the presenters and producers of the show crossed so many red lines, I stopped counting. Using Hitler to elicit a laugh is inexcusable, degrades the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust, and is hurtful to survivors and their children …
"I hope that the people involved in this sorry episode reflect on their actions and apologise for a sketch that simply went too far."
Fox Sports has apologised and is investigating how the gag got the go-ahead.
"We are very concerned by an incident involving an inappropriate image shown as part of one of our live shows discussing NRL crowd cut-outs," its statement read.
"We are currently reviewing the circumstances and examining the action we need to ensure those involved understand it is not acceptable. We sincerely apologise for the offence the image has caused."
Johns released his own statement following the heavy criticism that flooded in following the segment going to air.
"The segment on my Fox League show on Sunday in which we showed an image of Hitler in crowd cut outs was in poor taste and completely inappropriate," Johns' statement read.
"I know Fox Sports has apologised but I need to personally step up to this. I know how raw and devasting those events remain for so many people and families.
"I acknowledge it was wrong and I apologise to our viewers and to everyone in the community who is rightly concerned and offended by the segment. I've reached out and spoken directly to Vic Alhadeff at the Jewish Board of Deputies this morning to apologise to the Jewish community and I'll be apologising on air to all our viewers on Thursday night's show."
While some viewers defended the joke as an attempt at comedy, it also ruffled the feathers of several Aussie sports journalists. AFL media veteran Rohan Connolly wrote "please tell me this didn't happen" and "you don't make jokes about Hitler".
Ex-Fox Sports reporter Laurie Horesh also questioned the decision. "Really @FOXNRL? That's the joke you're going to go with? That's your gag? Hitler? You sure? You vetted that joke, and settled on Hitler."
Another former Fox Sports reporter Mark Gottlieb added: "People justifying this that it was a joke photoshopped in by the Matty Johns show don't realise that that doesn't actually make it acceptable. You know what's not funny? Hitler. Hitler isn't funny."
Former football writer at The Australian Ray Gatt wrote: "Hitler is not a piss-take. Never will be … Anything to do with Hitler is not only dangerous but absolutely offensive."
Freelance sports journo Darren Parkin wrote: "Hitler would take number one position in the 'topics we don't make jokes about' list. Very poor form."
Victorian Federal MP Josh Burns replied to a screenshot of the joke which circulated on social media, saying: "Please tell me this didn't actually happen."