SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 22: Heath Shaw of the Giants looks on during the 2017 AFL round 05 match between the Sydney Swans and the GWS Giants at the Sydney Cricket Ground on April 22, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Giants veteran Heath Shaw may be in hot water after microphones picked up the defender calling Swans youngster Tom Papley a “f***ing retard”.

The incident happened during the third quarter of the Giants’ 42-point win over Sydney, following a coming together between the two players.

Papley was then heading to the bench, before Shaw yelled out “you might as well stay up there you f—ing retard.”

The commentary team was aware of the incident, with Jason Dunstall apologising for Shaw’s language on the broadcast.

On Sunday morning, Shaw released the following statement apologising for what he said to Papley.

“I want to apologise for the insensitive comment I made to Tom Papley during last night’s game,” he said.

“Yes I am a fiery person who plays with a lot of passion and emotion but that is no excuse for my actions last night.

“I apologise to Tom and anyone else who took offence to my comments, I deeply regret them.

“There is no place for comments of that nature on or off the football ground. It was an offensive remark that I should never have made and for that I apologise.”

GWS coach Leon Cameron was asked about Shaw’s remarks post-game, and said he would look at the incident once again before making comments.

“I don’t know the level of detail, so we’ll use the next 24 hours to have a really good discussion about actually what happened,” he said.

“We’ll look at it, see whether it was right or wrong and then you deal with it, thats all you can do.”