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Bombers apologise after Blues AFLW player is racially abused during game

Essendon have condemned and committed to identifying a supporter accused of racially vilifying Carlton defender Vaomua Laloifi in the teams’ AFLW clash at Windy Hill.

Key points:

Carlton told the AFL’s Integrity Unit about the incident at the game on Saturday
Essendon have apologised to Vaomua Laloifi
The Bombers say they will now endeavour to find the perpetrator and will “apply the appropriate punishments”

Carlton said in a statement the incident occurred during the third quarter of Saturday’s game, “where it is understood targeted comments were made directly at Laloifi from a currently unidentified individual in the crowd”.

When the 30-year-old player raised the issue, the Blues immediately contacted the AFL Integrity Unit representative at the ground.

Essendon apologised to Laloifi and Carlton and committed to act on the matter.

“Essendon Football Club has been made aware of an incident involving a supporter who racially vilified Carlton AFLW player Vaomua Laloifi during Saturday’s game at Windy Hill,” the Bombers said in a statement.

“The club strongly condemns this behaviour.

“Vilification, racial or otherwise, has absolutely no place in our society.

“We must continue to use our platform as a club to call out this behaviour and make a stand against this hateful and hurtful act.

“The matter has been referred to the AFL’s Integrity Unit. The club will now work to identify the individual with the view to educate and, where possible, apply the appropriate punishments.

“Essendon Football Club sincerely apologises to Laloifi and the Carlton Football Club for this abhorrent behaviour.”

Carlton said Laloifi, who was born in Samoa and raised in New Zealand, had “understandably been deeply hurt by the comments”.

Chief executive Brian Cook said the club were right behind Laloifi.

“We are shattered as a club that a person we deeply care for in Mua, who brings so much joy and love to so many people, would be subjected to such disgusting behaviour,” Cook said.

“Such behaviour is not welcome at any level of society, let alone at the football.

“Coming to the football should be a safe and enjoyable place for all, it is not a place for such ignorant and bigoted language.

“Our focus and our energy continues to be on doing everything we possibly can to support Mua during this time, who has been put in a position that no person deserves to experience.”




Author: Russell White