Indigenous Australian players from Fremantle, Brisbane and Adelaide reported incidents of racial abuse on social media this week; the AFL said it is investigating the reports.

Last Updated: 12/04/23 9:53am

Izak Rankine was one of four players who said they received racial abuse on social media this week

Izak Rankine was one of four players who said they received racial abuse on social media this week

The Australian Football League has called for an end to racial abuse online, after four Indigenous players reported incidents this week.

The league is investigating allegations of racial abuse on social media after Fremantle’s Michael Walters and Nathan Wilson, and Brisbane’s Charlie Cameron, reported incidents on Tuesday.

Less than 24 hours earlier, Adelaide Crows’ Izak Rankine reported similar abuse and the league’s chief executive has called for a stop to online racial abuse.

“This has to stop,” Gillon McLachlan said.

“It not only hurts the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players targeted but all Indigenous players and players of colour across the league as well as their families, their team-mates and friends.”

Fremantle, who are based in Perth, said players had been subjected to “vile, racist and homophobic abuse” on social media, with Simon Garlick, the club’s chief executive, adding: “Individuals that hide behind fake accounts to hurt others are pathetic and we need to be able to curb this capability on social platforms.”

Western Bulldogs player Jamarra Ugle-Hagan was racially abused by a fan while playing a match against St Kilda last month.

After scoring a goal in the following game against Brisbane Lions, Ugle-Hagan raised his shirt and pointed to his skin in an echo of fellow Indigenous player Nicky Winmar’s gesture three decades ago, a landmark moment in the fight against racism in Australian sport.

The AFL has worked hard to stamp out racism on the field and from fans at stadiums, but Aboriginal players regularly complain of being targeted by online trolls.


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