An Australian rugby player has been accused of racism after he posted a photo of himself dressed up as an Aboriginal man holding a bottle of petrol and a fake spear.
Fabian Natoli, a Sydney rugby player who has played for the Manly Marlins, posted the offensive picture on Instagram with the caption, “every now and then you just need to culturally enrich yourself and get in touch with the dreamtime”.
In the photo, Natoli's body is painted in a style reminiscent of traditional body paint worn by Aboriginal people during ceremonies. He holds a fake spear in on hand and with the other lifts up a jerry can of fuel.
The fuel is a reference to the racist stereotype that Aboriginal people sniff petrol to get high.
Aboriginal rapper Briggs shared the photo with his followers saying, "goose of the day goes to the white guy with dreadlocks".
Shortly after Briggs shared the photo on Instagram and Facebook, hundreds of people began to leave angry comments.
On Tuesday, Natoli took to Instagram to apologise, saying that he had been dressed up as an Aboriginal person for an "Australian themed party".
"I'm genuinely sorry, dress up was for an Australian themed party no racism intended. I found the jerry can at the party and thought it would be a funny photo, obviously it's not and I'm sorry for offending you all," Natoli wrote.
"If you can't accept my apology it shows your character and by commenting all the 'white privilege stuff' it makes you just as low as the photo I posted. And for a fun fact the dreads are natural not fake."
Shortly after the photo was shared, several other Instagram posts surfaced in which Natoli had made offensive comments about Aboriginal people.
Under one Instagram post, Natoli wrote, "today is national bromance day. So grab a nigger and kiss him". He used the hashtags: #HesNotActuallyNigger, #WouldNeverLetARealNiggerKissMe and #ISaidNiggerFourTimesInOnePost.
Another Instagram photo on Natoli's account featured a group of Aboriginal people. Underneath he wrote, "nothing more Australian then [sic] playing in Darwin in front of these Aussie citizens," followed by the hashtag #BlockYourNose&LockTheCar.