Australia unites behind star after vile pic
Carlton star Eddie Betts has outed a racist social media troll as the fight to stamp out discrimination in sport picks up.
The indigenous small forward took to Instagram on Sunday to share abuse directed at him in the lead-up to the AFL's return.
"If at any time anyone is wondering why we work so hard to bring attention to the importance of stamping out racism, this is it," Betts wrote.
"If ever there was a time where our focus on this needs to continue more than ever, it's now. We each have a responsibility to ourselves and each other. To continue to listen. To learn. To educate. To ignore it is to be part of the problem, to call it out is to be part of the solution."
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If at any time anyone is wondering why we work so hard to bring attention to the importance of stamping out racism, this is it. If ever there was a time where our focus on this needs to continue more than ever, it’s now. We each have a responsibility to ourselves and each other. To continue to listen. To learn. To educate. To ignore it is to be part of the problem, to call it out is to be part of the solution. #itstopswithme #bepartofthesolution
Betts received rousing support from fellow players and the wider Australian community.
"We ArEnT RaCiSt In AuStRaLiA," replied Hawthorn star Chad Wingard. "Education is key. This is not good enough! With you brother always. This is weekly and enough is enough."
"What the f*** is wrong with people," added Betts' former Adelaide Crows teammate Ben Davis. "What's so hard to get ???"
"You're a star," replied Betts' Carlton teammate Marc Murphy.
AFL Players Association boss Paul Marsh condemned the post. "First week back and our Indigenous players are already being vilified," he said. "This post is abhorrent and disgusting and so sad. There's no place in society for racism."
Women's football superstar Sam Kerr, NRL player Josh Addo-Carr and a host of other AFL players including Shaun Burgoyne, Jarman Impey and Mitch McGovern also backed Betts.
Olympic gold medallist Nova Peris wanted action taken. "The AFL and Essendon (if he's a Dons member) need to come down hard on this racist, who changed his Twitter handle after tweeting this filth. There has to be zero tolerance on this s*** and systemic change! How much has Eddie Betts got to cop?!"
Celebrity chef Adam Liaw added: "We'll fight it with you, Eddie. You're not in this alone."
Mummy blogger Sophie Cachia said: "F***ing hell. We're all here for you and the fam."
Players from across the AFL, including Betts, took a knee ahead of games this weekend in support of Black Lives Matter.
Originally published as Australia unites behind star after vile pic