EDDIE Betts has a strong message for his taunters: They will not run him out of the AFL game.
“I love this game too much – and that will not change,” said Betts, the Crows goalkicking hero who was subjected to racial abuse again during Showdown 42 on Saturday night, both on at Adelaide Oval and in social media.
Brownlow Medallist Adam Goodes’ enjoyment of Australian football was wrecked as the Sydney premiership hero was subjected to jeering, particularly in Perth, after he highlighted racial taunting from the AFL terraces.
But Betts says his focus – and his “love for the game” – will not be smashed by racism.
“I’ll go out there and be myself. I’ve just got to continue being myself, being my up, bubbly, smiley self and just keep doing that,” said Betts in his weekly radio appearance with the FIVEaa breakfast show.
“I have a job to do.”
Betts and fellow indigenous star Patrick Ryder were both subjected to racial taunting during the derby on Saturday night.
This prompted both the Adelaide and Port Adelaide football clubs to deliver a strong, united message against racism – with the tag “Enough is enough” – in a meeting of the teams at Adelaide Oval on Tuesday.
The Power and Crows also have released a video with Betts, Ryder, captains Taylor Walker and Travis Boak and coaches Ken Hinkley and Don Pyke declaring there is no place for racism in football nor society.
Both Betts and Ryder have revealed the pain of the racial taunting on their families. Betts’ wife, Anna, was in tears this week amid disgust with, as Betts put it, the “hatred” shown in social media postings this week.
“It’s been a tough week,” Betts said.
“It affects me, but it affects people around me more. My wife, Anna, was very upset with it this week, just the hatred of it. She was teary.
“Our kids are indigenous and they’ll have to grow up with this stuff as well.
“It is racism and we want to stomp it out of the game. Enough is enough.”
Betts paid tribute to the AFL community for supporting him and Ryder and fellow indigenous players at the Crows and Power this week.
“The support shown to me and my family has been great from the two footy clubs, the Crows and Port Adelaide, the players’ association (the AFLPA) and the AFL with chief executive Gillon McLachlan calling me three days ago.
“I thank everyone for their support.”
A Port Adelaide member has had his membership suspended indefinitely – with a SA Police report to decide how the Power applies a further ban – for racially vilifying Betts.
A Crows member who ran from Adelaide Oval after being challenged for taunting Ryder has been urged to report to the Power or Crows for education programs on racism with any of Paul Vandenbergh, Eddie Hocking or Norm Smith Medallist Andrew McLeod. So far he has not come forward.
Originally published as Betts says thanks for anti-racism support
SOURCE: newsnow sport