The Port Adelaide Football Club have punished a racist fan who verbally abused Eddie Betts at Adelaide Oval over the weekend.
In a statement on the club’s website, Port announced that the offending fan has had his membership suspended indefinitely.
Port Adelaide can confirm the offender, who was evicted from the ground, is a club member and that his membership card has been confiscated and his membership suspended indefinitely.
The club is waiting on a full report from the stadium and SA Police before further action is taken.
Eddie Betts was also the victim of online abuse with a Port fan calling him an ‘ape’ on her Facebook page.
There is not much the club can do about this fan as she is not a member.
For her part, the dropkick fan (who we will not name) is now complaining that she is receiving death threats. Understandably there isn’t too much sympathy out there for her.
— #Pats5xWorldChamps (@NedFlandersMOT) April 11, 2017
Port Adelaide’s Reaction
Port Adelaide chief executive Keith Thomas says the club is very disturbed by these incidents.
“As a club we are sickened by these reports that are at complete odds with the values of our club, represented in our spectator code of conduct,” said Mr Thomas.
“We simply will not tolerate this behaviour.”
“As a club and an industry we need to continue to educate football supporters that this type of behaviour is not acceptable at our games or in society more broadly.”
“We will work closely with our member to educate him on what we expect from our community when it comes to racist behaviour.”
Paddy Ryder Also Abused
It wasn’t all one way traffic with Crows fans also guilt of racial abuse during the clash between the Adelaide rivals.
Port will also continue their investigation into a Crows fan who racially abused their star ruckman Paddy Ryder.
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan promised to review what the league could do to prevent racism.
“We know our game can do more,” McLachlan said.
“I will continue to work … to evolve our match day policy and explore opportunities to educate our communities.”
It was certainly a match that made the headlines for all the wrong reasons. On top of the racism, a massive brawl also broke out between fans behind the goals.
by Michael T. Lynch – contributor