(EDGE) The captain for the Anaheim Ducks was slapped with a $10,000 fine from the National Hockey League for repeatedly calling a referee a "cocksucker" during a Thursday game, Outsports reports.
Ryan Getzlaf, who was not suspended, was caught using the slur several times during a match with the Nashville Predators. Outsports called the fine "meaningless," pointing out the hockey star makes $9.25 million a year, not including endorsement deals.
"That fine is the maximum allowed under the union agreement, making it even worse that the NHL didn't go the way of a suspension," Outsports' Cyd Zeigler adds.
In a statement, the NHL said Getzlaf violated a policy that "prohibits inappropriate and offensive remarks, and the use of obscene, profane or abusive language or gestures."
Getzlaf defended himself, saying the slur was not directed at the referee or anyone in particular, the LA Times reports.
"Obviously, a situation like that, where I'm on the bench by myself, frustration set in," Getzlaf said after losing to the Predators. "There was obviously some words said, not necessarily directed at anyone in particular. It was just kind of a comment. I've got to be a little bit more responsible with the words I choose.
"Definitely as a father, as somebody that takes a lot of pride in this game and the respect for it. ... it's tough to see somebody refer to it as what TSN did [as homophobic]," he went on to say. "I didn't mean it in that manner in any way. For that to take that route was very disappointing for me.
"I do accept responsibility and I accept the fine. We talked to the league and I understand that it's my responsibility to not use vulgar language. Period," the hockey star said, according to the LA Times. "Whether it's a swear word or whatever it is. We've got to be a little bit more respectful of the game, and that's up to me. I accept that responsibility and we'll move forward."
The incident comes not long after Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar was suspended for two games after calling a rival athlete a "faggot."