A racist slur aimed at the sons of Yamatji West Coast star Liam Ryan has been widely condemned.
A photograph of Ryan’s twin toddlers was featured on 7AFL’s Twitter account showing them at the West Coast v Collingwood AFLW game over the weekend.
One of the boys held a microphone and football, and the picture’s caption referred to the boys having a future in broadcasting.
A racist comment made by a member of the public under the photo was condemned by Ryan, the West Coast Eagles and many sportspeople, commentators and community members.
“That these kinds of posts continue to be published on social media is both abhorrent and frustrating” – West Coast Eagles
Ryan called out the abuse with a post on his own Instagram account.
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan and inclusion and social executive general manager Tanya Hosch released a joint statement in support of Ryan.
“Liam Ryan is one of the most-talented and exciting players in our game,” the said.
“Part of his pride and strength comes from his family and the majority of us appreciate and respect him, his family and culture.
“We stand with Liam and his family and, as a code, are extremely grateful he is part of the footy family and community. The hurt racism causes runs deeper than the individuals involved.”
A West Coast Eagles spokesperson condemned the slur.
“That these kinds of posts continue to be published on social media is both abhorrent and frustrating,” they said.
“We will support Liam, Evana and their family through this incident which again has hurt them deeply.”
The passage of the Commonwealth’s Online Safety Act gave eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant some additional powers to deal with online abuse.
However, the proposed Social Media (Anti-Trolling) Bill 2021 in its current form relates exclusively to defamatory material.