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Police investigating racist harassment of Eddie Betts' children, AFL condemns attack

Giovanni Torre -
Victorian police have confirmed they are investigating the racist harassment of the children of Eddie Betts, after the AFL star shared security footage showing someone shouting racist slurs at his children in their own front yard.

Police said they have received a complaint and are formally investigating the matter.

A car visible in the footage may be connected to the abuse.

The AFL's chief executive Andrew Dillon and head of social policy Tanya Hosch issued a joint statement on the disturbing footage, in which the children can be seen running inside after the n-word is screamed repeatedly at them.

"Once again, we find ourselves in a position where we must express our strongest condemnation against another example of overt racism, this time targeting children playing sport in their own front yard," they said.
"We acknowledge the leadership of Eddie Betts for bringing this to national attention.
"Racism is wrong.  Racism is harmful.  Racism requires a response."

Mr Dillon and Ms Hosch said the league reminds "everyone at all levels of the game, that racist behaviour is never welcome. Anywhere."

"We invite everyone to follow Eddie’s example in calling out racism when you hear, read or see it.  We invite everyone to report racism wherever possible," they said.
"The AFL wish to express our love and best wishes for healing, for the children and families who were subject to the racist abuse shared in the video last night.  
"We wish to stand with Eddie and his family and thank him for bringing this disturbing behaviour to our attention.  We must not look away, rather we must stand together to play our part to reduce racism."

The two league executives noted that the AFL "has this morning reached out to the Betts family to offer our support".

Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan described the footage as "sickening" and said it must have "painful" for the Betts family to experience, the ABC reports.

"It is sickening and disgusting that kids playing basketball in their own backyard have to be subject to such disgusting racial abuse," she said.

"My thoughts go to Eddie and his family at this time. He has talked a lot about his own personal experience with racism and he has been a strong and proud Indigenous man."

The Premier also directed a message to those responsible.

"I would say to the individuals who have done this behaviour, there is no place for this sort of sickening behaviour in Victoria. Let kids be kids, let kids play in their own backyard," she said.


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