Racist abuse angers Lions veteran
BRISBANE Lions indigenous leader Allen Christensen has slammed the "faceless" trolls who racially abused Sydney player Elijah Taylor via social media after the teenager was banned for the rest of the season for bringing his girlfriend into the Swans' COVID-19 hub.
While Christensen remains on the selection outer, he is still a highly influential figure among the club's indigenous players.
The former Geelong premiership player designed the guernseys the Lions will wear on Sunday against St Kilda in the AFL's Sir Doug Nicholls Round.
The Totems of each of the Lions' AFL and AFLW indigenous players feature on the front of the guernsey, circling a lion.
The 2020 Toyota Sir Doug Nicholls Round will be a true celebration of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and their contribution - past, present and future - to Australian Football.#AFLDeadly pic.twitter.com/uzp4W9vRgA— AFL (@AFL) August 14, 2020
"This year I really wanted to make the focus about the players, and walking away after their careers are done they can say 'this was a jumper we had a big input on and my family's represented on it'," Christensen said.
But as proud as Christensen was about the guernsey, he was just as angry and disappointed about racist remarks directed to 19-year-old Taylor.
"(Taylor) knows he made a mistake, and for someone to bring him down by using a racial slur, that's not how we're going to move forward as a society," Christensen said.
"It's disappointing. We've all had to deal with it throughout our lives.
"As an Aboriginal person it brings you down a notch, and doesn't make you feel proud of where you come from.
"We have the longest living culture on planet earth, which should be celebrated more often.
"For people to bring that down because they're using words, they can get in the bin those people."
Christensen said Taylor would learn from his mistake, and become a very good player who would be remembered like a host of indigenous playing greats, and unlike those who racially abused him.
"They can get away with it for a day or two but they're the sort of people who get forgotten about," he said.
"You don't forget about Eddie Betts ... you don't forget Buddy Franklin.
"It's who we remember, We're always going to remember as far back as Nicky Winmar and Michael Long, so that's more important than someone on a fake account."
Christensen also expressed his disappointment about the absence of the Aboriginal flag from the Sir Doug Nicholls Round due to a clothing company having bought an exclusive copyright licence to the flag's image from its original designer.
"It's a flag that we (Aboriginal) players all represent, I wear it on my arm (via a tattoo) ... that's something we all stand under," he said.
"It's like the Diggers going to war, they all stood under the Australian flag. We stand under the Aboriginal flag.
"For people to have a monopoly over that and make money out of our flag, it's highly disappointing."
Originally published as Racist abuse angers Lions veteran