The Adelaide Football Club strongly condemns any form of racial vilification and the behaviour of a Crows player at a recent SANFL match in no way reflects its views or values.
Forward Taylor Walker has been suspended for six AFL matches and he will make a $20,000 donation to an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program in South Australia after admitting to making a racist comment while attending but not participating in a match against North Adelaide on July 17.
The 31-year-old made the inappropriate comment regarding Roosters player Robbie Young to a Crows teammate, who was playing in the game. An Adelaide official overheard the remark and reported the incident to the Club, which passed the matter onto the AFL’s Integrity Unit for investigation.
Under AFL rules, such complaints are to be conciliated and during this process on Thursday it was agreed Walker would also undertake a League-approved education program, as well as privately address and apologise to Crows players and staff, and North Adelaide players.
The League’s Peek Rule states the process is confidential and the Club has not been allowed to publicly comment or discuss details until now.
Crows CEO Tim Silvers said Walker’s behaviour was totally unacceptable, adding that there was no place for racism in football, nor the wider community.
“This incident should not have happened and we are sorry that it did, and we endorse and support the sanctions,” Silvers said.
“As a Club, we also understand the impact this behaviour had on the people involved, their families and the wider Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
“The fact someone from inside our Club called out the inappropriate comment made by an experienced and well-known player reflects the environment and culture we are trying to create.”
Silvers said Walker had met with the Club’s Indigenous players before fronting the entire playing group and football department staff on Friday morning.
“To use Taylor’s own words, he is embarrassed, ashamed and remorseful, and he has apologised. We will now provide him with the appropriate support,” he said.
“Everyone in society must work to stamp out racism and our players, coaches and staff are committed to taking a stand against this behaviour.”