Former Adelaide Crows star Eddie Betts says Taylor Walker is on a “journey” to understand racism and the hurt it causes — and that the rest of Australia also needs to plough the same path.
- Taylor Walker directed a racist comment at an Aboriginal player during an SANFL match
- He has been banned from playing in the AFL for six months
- Eddie Betts says he is confident Walker will put 110 per cent into his re-education
Betts — who now plays for Carlton in the AFL — said he had spoken to Walker after the former Crows captain was suspended for six matches last week after racist comments he made at an SANFL match last month.
The comments were directed at North Adelaide player Robbie Young, who subsequently appeared in a much-criticised contrition video with Walker.
Last night, Betts told Fox Footy program AFL 360 it was “tiring” and “draining” to continually have to talk about racism against Indigenous people.
“It actually really hurts to be honest,” the forward pocket said.
“I’m starting to get emotional just talking about it here — everything that has happened over the last 48 hours to the last week.
“Taylor Walker is going on his journey at the moment. I know the kind of person Taylor is and he will hold to his word.
“He’ll do this with 110 per cent — it just hurts.”
Betts, 34, said he was “begging Australia to listen” to the hurt that racism caused on the sporting field and off it.
“There’s no room for racism in Australia and we as Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people are sick of fighting — we are, we’re sick of fighting — because it just keeps happening and happening and I’m tired,” he said.
As well as apologising, Walker will also have to undertake an education program involving volunteering “in appropriate community programs”.
He will make a donation of $20,000 to an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander program in South Australia.