Statement to be attributed to AFL Players’ Association CEO Paul Marsh in response to the racial vilification of Eddie Betts on Instagram over the weekend.
It’s unacceptable that our Indigenous members continue to be racially vilified over the fence during games, in the community and in this instance, on social media.
Despite the outstanding leadership Indigenous players continue to display both on and off the field, they still remain targets for such shameful behaviour.
This most recent incident involving Eddie Betts provides another opportunity to educate people about the significant hurt these types of words can cause a player, his or her family and their community.
The players want football fans to barrack for their clubs with passion, but targeting someone because of their race can’t be tolerated.
We are committed, along with the AFL and clubs, to calling out this behaviour and urge football fans to join us to ensure it’s no longer something today’s Indigenous players and those of the future have to endure.