The AFL has unfortunately been forced to investigate yet another issue between fans and an Indigenous player over the weekend. The incident occurred during Saturday night’s ‘Showdown’ between traditional rivals Adelaide and Port Adelaide, when a female Power fan threw a banana at Eddie Betts, while reportedly yelling ‘he’s a monkey’.
Both the Crows and Power were quick to condemn to fan’s actions. The Crows told the press the club is “both disappointed and disgusted at the behaviour of some members of the crowd during tonight’s Showdown at Adelaide Oval”
The Power were less condemning with their statement.
“After talking to witnesses it is clear that the offender’s behaviour was racially motivated and is therefore a significant breach of the club’s values and spectator code of conduct.”
"The fan has been banned indefinitely, pending an opportunity for the fan to be educated by selected Power players of Indigenous heritage."
“Port Adelaide will meet with the offender in the coming days to offer her an opportunity to take part in the club’s industry leading Aboriginal cultural awareness programs.”
The incident unfortunately marred what should have been a celebratory game for Betts, who on his 250th game, kicked five goals in the Crows’ narrow 15 point victory.
The ban has been met with widespread approval across social channels, however some were critical of what they considered a ‘soft’ penalty in light of a lifetime ban.
There was of course a vocal minority trying to claim the incident was not racially motivated.
The incident is of course reminiscent of the long-running Adam Goodes saga of 2015. Despite all the league’s work celebrating Indigenous culture, the code’s fans are continually letting the AFL down.