Grimsby Town midfielder Elliott Whitehouse has been banned for six games and fined £2,000 for using abusive language towards an opponent.
The 26-year-old was charged following an incident in the 72nd minute of his side’s League Two game with Northampton Town on 23 November 2019.
Whitehouse used a derogatory term to Northampton midfielder Alan McCormack.
Whitehouse, who admitted the charge, must also undertake an education course run by the Football Association.
Warning: The section below contains offensive language
An independent regulatory commission heard how, with 18 minutes left in the League Two fixture, Whitehouse was involved in a verbal confrontation with McCormack, in which he called Dublin-born McCormack a “pikey” – a term considered insulting to the traveller community.
McCormack reported the incident to the referee at the time and it was included in the match official’s report.
Whitehouse, who is out of contract this summer and will not be offered a new deal, denied using the term at the time of the incident, but later admitted that he had and pleaded guilty to a misconduct charge that he used insulting and/or offensive words.
It was seen as an aggravated breach of the FA’s rules.
In his defence, Whitehouse said he “had no issue with the Irish Traveller community and is not in any way a racist”.
Whitehouse added that the comments were not pre-meditated and there was no intention to cause upset or offence.
Grimsby chairman Philip Day told BBC Look North: “We deplore any actions which are deemed to be of a racist nature, whether it is by a player, member of staff or a spectator.
“He admitted it without any reservation and was extremely sorry for what he had done.”