Melbourne chairman Glen Bartlett has slammed the “abhorrent” racial vilification aimed at forward Harley Bennell on social media after the Demons’ win over Gold Coast.
The incident occurred on a social media post from the AFL’s official Twitter account which celebrated Bennell’s first goal for his new club in the win, where a Twitter user used a term which is considered offensive to Indigenous people.
The tweet has since been deleted, but that didn’t stop the club from slamming the attack on Bennell, which follows the likes of Eddie Betts and Liam Ryan also being targeted with racial slurs online.
“There is just no place for this racist behaviour in our game and in society,” Bartlett said in a statement on Sunday afternoon.
“It’s incredibly frustrating that comments of this nature continue to be made, and it’s important that we, as a football community, don’t shy away from what’s right.
❤️️. It is simply not okay to remain silent.
“I am already in discussions and intend to follow up key Federal and Victorian Government Ministers to explore what can be done to strengthen laws to make people accountable and stamp out this abhorrent behaviour.
“The club stands with Harley, and strongly against the vilification of our people. We will continue to drive the importance of listening, learning and educating.”