A man claiming to be the father of the banana-throwing Port Adelaide member in the middle of an AFL racism storm denies his daughter had racist intent.
On Saturday night, the fan threw a banana at towards indigenous Adelaide star Eddie Betts, an act condemned by the AFL as “clearly an unambiguous racist act”.
On Sunday, Port Adelaide completed an investigation into the matter which concluded it was racially motivated.
But a man calling into Adelaide radio station FiveAA on Monday morning said his daughter had been unfairly targeted.
“Unless my daughter was on drugs overnight, no way in the world,” ‘Don’ said.
“The thing that irritates me the most is that we’re playing the racist card here. It was more an act of frustration than a racist act where she’s thrown a banana.
“You’re playing the racist game. I’m not condoning what she’s done.
“This is called media rubbish. Why do you people sensationalise things?”
AFL aboriginal advisory COmmittee chair Paul Briggs said there was no debate as to the intent.
“While speculation and debate will occur around the motivation of such behaviour, it is clearly an unambiguous racist act, something most fair-minded Australians would find appalling and unacceptable,” he said.
Incoming AFL inclusion and social policy manager Tanya Hosch said: “On behalf of the AFL, I want to say that we know racism exists in our game, as it does still in the broader Australian society.”
Hosch did not want to comment on the individual case but drew a parallel between the Adelaide Oval incident and historic banana-throwing condemned as racist.
“The throwing of a banana and its association with slurs on indigenous Australians and other cultural groups, which has sadly occurred in sports around the world, is deeply racist and offensive, and should be rejected by every part of our game, including clubs, players, fans and supporters.”
“The AFL will work with the club as they finalise their investigations and provide support on any further action required,” Hosch said.