Aussie Rules fan banned for racist social media post

Australian Rules football star and one of Australia's most high-profile indigenous sportsmen Adam Goodes has also been a victim of racist abuse.
Australian Rules football star and one of Australia's most high-profile indigenous sportsmen Adam Goodes has also been a victim of racist abuse.
Image: PETER PARKS / AFP

An Australian Rules football team indefinitely suspended a member Saturday for a racist social media post targeting an indigenous player.

The decision by the Adelaide Crows to suspend the member who targeted rival Port Adelaide player Paddy Ryder comes as the competition ramps up efforts to stamp out online racism.

"This person's membership has been suspended indefinitely and all of their membership rights have been revoked," the club said in a statement.

"The Club considers racial vilification to be abhorrent and disgusting, and racism has no place in our society."

Ryder, a champion Aboriginal player, was subjected to the online abuse following his club's win over the West Coast Eagles in Perth of Friday night.

Port Adelaide described the comment as "cowardly and ignorant" and said it would offer support to all its indigenous players who were subject to abuse.

Rival club the Gold Coast Suns also released a statement Saturday saying they had investigated one of their own supporters for "unacceptable comments" on social media, but said the person was not a member.

"Racial vilification has no place in our game, and no place in our society," the club said in a statement.

Last month West Coast Eagles forward Liam Ryan was called a "monkey" on social media.

The outcry led to a member from the Richmond Football Club being tracked down and having their membership suspended for two years.

Earlier this week champion indigenous player Travis Varcoe revealed he "flirted with the idea" of not playing after his wife directed him toward racist comments targeting him online.

The Geelong Cats star said he decided to play on though so not to give in to abusers.

"If we do take that sort of a stand ... we just play into the hands of people that are putting out those sorts of comments and that racial vilification," Varcoe told the ABC.

Earlier this month the Melbourne Demons football team ripped apart a banner of hateful tweets as they ran out on to the Melbourne Cricket Ground for their match as part of a campaign against cyber-bullying.

"Social media is our shared challenge regarding racism and other forms of abuse," the Australian Rules Football League tweeted in support of the Adelaide club's member suspension Saturday.

"It is not just happening to our players, it is happening to our kids and across our community," the league said in a tweet.

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