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Walker makes video apology for racist comment

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Crows forward Taylor Walker has appeared in a video alongside Robbie Young to issue an apology for his racist comment about the North Adelaide player at a SANFL game.

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Former Adelaide captain Walker was suspended for six AFL matches and given a $20,000 fine for the comment, which was first reported by a Crows official who overheard it at a quarter-time huddle.

In a short video released by the Crows last night, Walker sat with Young and choked up several times while delivering the apology.

Young showed support for the 31-year-old by patting him on the shoulder.

“I’m so thankful that you’re here, mate, sitting next to me,” Walker said.

“Thank you for accepting my apology, you’ve shown huge courage and support for me.

“I want to apologise to you and your family, to the Adelaide official and his family (and) to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and their communities for the pain, hurt and disappointment that I’ve caused.

“What I said was racism and it’s totally unacceptable.

“I’ve lost trust and respect from everyone and I know that, and I’ve got work to do.”

Adelaide granted Walker time off when details of an AFL investigation into the racist comment became public last week.

He was left out of the team to face Port Adelaide in round 21 before his penalty was announced last Friday.

Walker said he will take more time away from the club now “to let people heal”.

“I’m now going to educate myself, which is going to take some time, because I want to be better for it and I want to influence people around me because there’s no place for racism in society,” Walker said.

“I’m going to lean on you, Robbie, I’m going to lean on the AFL and others around me to support me.”

Walker and Young shook hands at the end of the video.

The Crows’ all-time leading goal-kicker is contracted for 2022, but his playing future remains unclear.

Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks fronted a press conference last Friday and could not guarantee Walker will stay with the club beyond this year.

AFL Players’ Association president Patrick Dangerfield told reporters on Monday his former Crows teammate Walker’s racist comment was “bitterly disappointing”.

“There is no excuse, particularly for an AFL player,” Geelong star Dangerfield said.

“There’s no one that gets more education around racial vilification and the impact it has on Indigenous Australians.”

Port Adelaide defender Alir Aliir became the latest player targeted by a racist troll on social media following his starring role in the Power’s win over Adelaide last Saturday night.

“It’s something we need to eradicate, something we need to stamp out, and something that we need to continue to call out – whether it’s Taylor Walker or whether it’s a faceless name like we saw with Aliir over the weekend where it’s easy to abuse someone over social media,” Dangerfield said.

“What we can’t do is be silenced by this.

“We have to make sure that everyone is calling it out – whether it’s your brother, your sister, your friends, your work colleagues – everyone has a role to play in this.

“We’ve come a long way but we’ve got a long way to go.”

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