The AFL have stood behind Elijah Taylor after the young Sydney Swans player became the latest player to be racially attacked online.
The AFL have stood behind Elijah Taylor after the young Sydney Swans player became the latest player to be racially attacked online.

AFL condemns ‘abhorrent’ racist abuse

Sydney Swans rookie Elijah Taylor has shared racist messages he received on social media following his recent COVID-19 breach.

Taylor was suspended for the remainder of the 2020 season after his girlfriend entered the club's quarantine accommodation in Perth without permission.

The Swans were given a $50,000 fine for the biosecurity breach, with $25,000 of that amount suspended. The Australian's Peter Lalor labelled it "one of the most expensive booty calls of all time."

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On Tuesday evening, Taylor called out a social media troll after he received racist messages on Instagram in the aftermath of his suspension.

The 19-year-old shared a screenshot of the vile message: "Suck s*** your getting fined by the police now as well you dirty c**n! Hit the showers you smelly monkey."

Taylor captioned the post: "Honestly, I am extremely sorry for being selfish with my actions I know what I've done affected not only me and the players but many others that all love the game.

"I understand that a lot of people are angry, but racism really doesn't fix anything."

The account which sent the racial abuse has since been deleted from the platform.

READ MORE: Wild details emerge of COVID breach

Two days out from Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round, the AFL released a statement condemning the "abhorrent" social media attack.

"The AFL condemns in the strongest possible terms the racial vilification of Sydney Swans player Elijah Taylor on social media last night," the statement read.

"The comments posted are abhorrent and inexcusable.

"The AFL have investigated the source of the comments, with the accounts now been reported to Instagram along with referring the matter to the e-Safety Commissioners office.

"To the powers available to the AFL, if the persons are found to be a club or AFL member, memberships will be revoked immediately.

"The AFL has also provided Elijah the full support of AFL welfare providers."

The Swans Swans also responded to the incident: "Elijah made a bad decision and he now has to deal with the consequences. He should not be the subject of abuse. There is NO place for racism. This week is about celebrating the Indigenous players in our game. It shouldn't be about this. Enough is enough. It must stop."

After seeing the "incredibly disappointing" screenshot, AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan pledged to do everything in his power to stop the racial vilification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players in the league.

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan.
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan.

"Our message is clear, if you are going post racists comments online at our players, then there is no place in football for you," McLachlan said in a statement.

"This week's Sir Doug Nicholls Round is a celebration, of more than the outstanding on-field performances, but of all the contributions by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities in our game, past and present.

"To read the comments that Elijah has been subject to overnight is incredibly disappointing and demonstrates that we need to do so much more as a society to educate and hold racist behaviour into account.

"I want Elijah and all our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players to know that I stand with you, and our organisation's obligation is to do whatever we can we put a stop to abuse of our people."

Several other AFL stars have been on the receiving end of racial vilification this season, including Eddie Betts, Liam Ryan, Tim Kelly, Travis Varcoe and Mason Cox.

On Tuesday evening, Taylor's girlfriend spoke with Channel 7 and confirmed there was "no security" as she entered the Swans quarantine hub.

"No security, I didn't see a security guard," she said.

"I just walked through, went to his room. That's how easy it was. I didn't jump any fences."

Taylor's girlfriend reportedly spent around eight hours with the AFL prodigy before two senior players caught the pair.

Originally published as AFL condemns 'abhorrent' racist abuse