Adelaide Crows chief executive Tim Silvers has apologised to Eddie Betts over claims of cultural and personal mistreatment at the club’s controversial preseason camp ahead of the 2018 AFL season.
Betts, who played for the Crows between 2014-2019, recounted his experience at the camp in his autobiography Boomerang Crescent, released Wednesday.
The 35-year-old criticised the appropriation of Indigenous custom with the use of a talking stick, and verbal attacks used as motivation referencing sensitive personal information shared in confidence staff.
He alleged the club’s decision to remove him from its leadership group was fuelled by his condemnation of the trip.
At a press conference on Wednesday Silvers, who was not at the club at the time of the camp, said he had reached out to Betts and apologised to any player impacted by the program.
“We think that maybe we could have done a few things better but we are trying to move past it,” Silvers said.
“I think we can move forward but we’d like to say sorry to Eddie and anyone else that had that had a negative experience throughout the camp.
“We’re going to address this head on, be transparent, open and honest and move in a positive direction.”
In 2018 the AFL launched an investigation which found failings in the club’s management of the situation, but no violation to industry rules.
AFL Players Association boss Paul Marsh issued a statement labelling Betts’ revelations as “extremely concerning and difficult to read”, expressing concern for the lack of psychological support offered to players, cultural appropriation of Indigenous artefacts and sharing of confidential information to the playing group.
“At the time that some details of the camp started to emerge, the AFLPA spoke to a number of Adelaide players about the camp,” Marsh said.
“What we now believe is clear from our discussions with those players and the information contained in Eddie’s book is that players felt pressured into remaining silent about the details of the camp.
“On the back of the new information that has emerged, the AFLPA will be contacting all Adelaide players from 2018 to seek a better understanding of the details of the camp and any individual issues that may have arisen from it.”