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AFL teams unite behind star after he suffers 'abhorrent' racial abuse

AFL teams unite behind star after he suffers 'abhorrent' racial abuse

Both the Bulldogs and the Saints condemned the comments that were directed at Jamarra Ugle-Hagan.

The AFL has untied behind Western Bulldogs forward Jamarra Ugle-Hagan after he allegedly suffered horrific racial abuse in his side’s loss against St Kilda.

It signals yet another instance of racial abuse reported to the AFL, with this the eighth occasion over the last 12 months.

Both the Bulldogs and the Saints condemned the comments that were directed at Ugle-Hagan.

The Bulldogs labelled the remarks as ‘harmful and abhorrent’, while St Kilda confirmed they are working with the AFL to find the spectator responsible, according to Yahoo.

A Bulldogs statement read: “Racism of any kind does not belong in our game, nor in our society. We cannot tolerate it.

“Comments like these are extremely upsetting and cause significant hurt and harm for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“They are said to intentionally harm, and we continue to be confronted by them as a community.

“We’re saddened by the constant need to reinforce the negative impact this has on the individuals concerned, and all First Nations people.”

St Kilda said they were united with the Bulldogs to stamp out racism.

They said in a statement: “To be repeatedly addressing these repugnant instances of racism is a blight on our game and society.

"We will continue to stamp out and call out this unacceptable behaviour by having these important conversations, as well as make ongoing education available for the wider community.

“As a club, we are committed to building greater awareness of the harm caused through comments such as these."

The impact of the incident has reverberated around the AFL community beyond the two teams.

Melbourne Demons star Christian Petracca discussed the incident on KIIS 101.1, outlining that those sorts of comments have a profound impact on Indigenous players.

He said: “My thoughts [on the abuse] are it is just disgusting. I don’t really get it to be honest, it is just fundamentally so wrong.

“He is a 21-year-old kid. We are not just footballers; we are human beings.

“Yes, we play the games, but especially indigenous players, they bring so much fun and enjoyment to the games, they put more bums on the seats than anyone else do.

"You go to games to watch indigenous players – Eddie Betts, Kozzy Pickett, Jamarra, like these types of players.

“As a society, we take one step forward with this stuff and we say we are getting better and you see things like this and it’s another, four-five steps backwards. It really is so wrong.

“I lived with Kozzy Pickett and Toby Bedford, who are two indigenous players, two indigenous human-beings and the stuff behind the scenes that you don’t see on social media or Instagram or direct messages is worse and they wouldn’t even speak out because they don’t want to cause a scene.”

Featured Image Credit: Fox Footy.

Topics: Australia, Australia Afl, Aussie Rules Football