Craig Gilroy has apologised for a Whatsapp message he sent in June 2016 after Ulster confirmed he was the subject of an internal review.
Gilroy will not be available for Ulster this weekend for the Pro14 match with Edinburgh in Murrayfield as the club assess the matter with their player.
The message came to light during the Belfast rape trial involving Gilroy's Ulster team-mates Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding. Both men were last week acquitted, along with Rory Harrison and Blane McIlroy.
In a statement, Gilroy said: "I would like to apologise unreservedly for any offence caused by the Whatsapp message I sent in June 2016.
"I would just like to clarify it was sent privately and not part of any group chat. Regardless, my comment was totally inappropriate and is not an accurate reflection of my beliefs nor Ulster Rugby's values.
"I take full responsibility for my actions and in future will ensure the language I use in private or public better reflects who I am and what I stand for.
"I am deeply sorry for the hurt my comment caused."