New Zealand-born Samoan rugby league player Andre Savelio has spoken out about being the subject of a racial slur during a match in the British Super League, prompting a suspension of his opponent from the league.
Savelio, in his third season playing for Hull FC, lodged a complaint with match officials after saying he was verbally abused by Wigan prop Tony Clubb.
Initially, Savelio said he wanted to confront Clubb on the field after the incident, but he was substituted out of the game, forcing a determined Savelio to go public saying he "won't sit quietly".
Posting on his Twitter account, Savelio outlined exactly what happened: "Listen there's no reason at all for me to lie, I didn't report it initially as I was going to deal with it myself the next time we came into contact, he got taken off after and never came back on.
"For him to call me a 'stupid Polynesian c***' in a game where 30 per cent are of that heritage, hell I won't sit quietly.
"I've seen these things happen enough to know most of the time there's never enough proof on these – but I swear it on my mum's... I'm just hopeful a camera or microphone clocked it and it's dealt with."
In response, both the Hull FC and Wigan clubs issued statements revealing they have launched a joint internal investigation.
"There is no room for racism in sport in any form and we take the accusations made by Hull's Andre Savelio very seriously," Wigan executive director Kris Radlinski said.
"Our immediate intention is to work closely with Hull and the governing body to gather all the facts and support the investigation process that is in place.
"In the short term, Tony Clubb will be suspended from all club activities.
"Tony's evidence will be taken into consideration by all parties moving forward and his welfare will remain a responsibility of Wigan Warriors throughout the investigation."
In 2017, Savelio signed a two-year deal to play for the Brisbane Broncos but suffered an ACL tear in a pre-season trial, ending his NRL dream.