June 24, 2024

Port Adelaide AFL player Jeremy Finlayson issued an apology after using a homophobic slur against an Essendon Bombers player on Friday, April 5th. The offensive remark was captured by on-field microphones worn by umpires and was immediately addressed by other Bombers players. Finlayson reported the incident during the three-quarter time break and later apologized to the unidentified victim after the game.

AFL boss refuses to compare Jeremy Finlayson slur to previous incidents as  punishment looms - ABC News

In a statement released by Port Adelaide, Finlayson expressed regret for his use of the slur and acknowledged its inappropriateness. “The words I used were very unacceptable in the game of football, and we need to stamp it out, and I’m very remorseful,” he stated. “I knew straight away that it’s not acceptable, and I take full responsibility for that.”

Finlayson promptly notified others about the incident and stated that it is now under the AFL’s investigation. AFL spokesperson Jay Allen confirmed that the league is treating the matter with utmost seriousness, with the AFL Integrity Unit conducting an investigation. “We will provide an update once that investigation is completed,” Allen stated.

This incident comes after North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson was fined $20,000 and suspended for homophobic slurs directed at St Kilda players during a practice match in March.

Following Finlayson’s remarks on Friday night, there has been a range of reactions to both his actions and the AFL’s response.

Gay TikToker Scott O’Halloran (@Scottscotto) posted an impassioned rant about the AFL’s issue with homophobia on Sunday, April 7th, pointing out that there have been two incidents this year. O’Halloran urged the AFL to reconsider Alastair Clarkson’s punishment and to take this latest incident into account. He expressed frustration, stating, “In any other organization in Australia, you would immediately lose your role for speaking to a colleague like this.” O’Halloran also questioned why no gay AFL player has come out of the closet, suggesting that this issue stems from the leadership of the AFL.

On the other hand, Port Adelaide chairman and former Sunrise host David Koch appeared on ABC Offsiders, where he appeared to minimize Finlayson’s actions.

Koch remarked, “[Clarkson’s incident] is very different to a player in the heat of battle, when there was a lot of niggle in the game… absolutely no excuse, not condoning it and should not be part of the game. But if you’re looking at comparisons, there’s the benchmark.” Additionally, he expressed the view that it was “not realistic” to equate the slur with Taylor Walker’s racial slur in 2021.

Following Koch’s statements, AFL fans took to social media platforms like Twitter, expressing outrage. Writer Michael O’Donnell echoed the general sentiment surrounding Koch’s comments, highlighting the disappointment and frustration felt by many.

Finlayson is currently awaiting the results of the AFL Integrity Unit’s investigation into the incident.

Jeremy Finlayson Apologises For Using Homophobic Slur

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