12 Mar 2014

Barba accepts apology over abuse

5:48 am on 12 March 2014

The Brisbane Broncos NRL star Ben Barba has accepted an apology from a junior rugby league player who racially abused him on a social media network.

However, the 18-year-old from NSW - who is registered with a Country Rugby League club - won't be able to participate in the sport again until he undergoes an approved cultural awareness program and shows remorse in a meeting with indigenous elders.

The Canterbury fan sparked an Instagram row with Barba last Friday - the night the fullback made his Broncos debut against the Bulldogs - when he aimed a bigoted slur at the ex-Dally M Medallist.

However, the NRL says the Dapto teenager phoned Barba and expressed his remorse late on Tuesday.

Barba said in a statement on the club's website that, "I was once a teenager and made mistakes. I believe as long as this young man receives some education on racial abuse and the effects it has, he can learn from the incident," adding "I certainly don't want him lost from our game."

The NRL stepped in after Barba's father Ken called on the governing body to crack down on racism, saying his son was spat on during games for the Bulldogs last year and was sick and tired of abuse.