West Coast Strike Back Against Racism In The Most Excellent Way
If you've ever heard anyone say "it's just a name and names can't hurt you", show them this video.
In fact, show this video to anybody and everybody you know. It's the most excellent rebuke to the latest bout of sickening racism which has tarnished the AFL.
You'll recall that earlier this week, there was fury over people on social media calling West Coast Eagles player Liam Ryan a "monkey".
Well, the Eagles have responded to that in the most dignified way.
The club has released a video featuring indigenous liaison officer (and former Eagles player) Phil Narkle, alongside development coach (and former Hawthorn player) Chance Bateman.
The two express, in the clearest terms, why the terms "monkey" or "ape" are so offensive. As Bateman says:
For aboriginal people, it cuts much, much deeper than that. It is a throwback to early settlement, when this land was settled under 'Terra Nullius', or no man's land. The reason for that is that Aboriginal people weren't thought of as human beings. We were thought of as a sub-human species.
It really is heartbreaking to hear it in such clear terms, but it's hopefully educative to those who would use such demeaning terms.
Well played, Eagles.
Well played also the Richmond Tigers, who later on Tuesday annnounced that they had suspended a club member who was behind the racists taunts.
"Racial vilification has no place in our game, and no place in our society, and the club will continue to take strong measures to ensure there is zero tolerance to this behaviour," the Tigers said in a statement.
And well played also to all the clubs and sporting bodies across numerous codes who responded in support of the Eagles.
READ MORE: Fury Over Yet Another AFL 'Monkey' Slur