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Sydney call for stronger laws against racist abuse after young Swan targeted

The Swans were also fined $50,000 – half of it suspended – with the amount to be included in their football department soft cap for next season.

The Swans say they will support Taylor but the player also faces further sanctions from the club.

Elijah Taylor was subjected to racial abuse after his breach of COVID-19 protocols.

Elijah Taylor was subjected to racial abuse after his breach of COVID-19 protocols.Credit:Getty Images

While the Swans accept Taylor has done wrong, they have hit out at the troll who aimed racist remarks at the 19-year-old.

Senior Swans officials sought the counsel of club legends Goodes and O’Loughlin for guidance on how to respond to the disgusting abuse directed at Taylor.

Goodes was subjected to sustained racial abuse in the final two years of his illustrious career after calling out a young girl for a racial slur directed at him in the AFL’s Indigenous Round in 2013.

Struggling to deal with the emotional toll, Goodes took a week out of the game in 2015 and retired at the end of that season. He said last month it was during the time out when he decided he would retire.

Swans chairman Andrew Pridham said the impact of the abuse on the victim should be taken into account when determining punishments for racist abuse.

“If someone is identified as having racially vilified another person they should be subjected to penalties that appropriately reflect the extreme emotional damage they cause,” Pridham said.

“If the law does not have the strength to provide a sufficient deterrent then it is my belief that legislation dealing with available sanctions for racial vilification should be materially strengthened.


“As a club and code we need to take a very strong stance on this.

“We welcome the strongest possible action being taken should the author of the offending post be identified.

“Elijah made a significant mistake and he knows it. We must now move forward. The comments directed at him are ugly and whoever is responsible should be ashamed.

“No Indigenous person – no person full stop – deserves that. It must be called out and people must understand the impact of their actions.”

McLachlan said if the perpetrator was found to be a club or AFL member, those memberships would be revoked immediately.

“Our message is clear, if you are going post racists comments online at our players, then there is no place in football for you,” McLachlan said.

“This week’s Sir Doug Nicholls Round is a celebration, of more than the outstanding on-field performances, but of all the contributions by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities in our game, past and present.

“To read the comments that Elijah has been subject to overnight is incredibly disappointing and demonstrates that we need to do so much more as a society to educate and hold racist behaviour into account.

“I want Elijah and all our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players to know that I stand with you, and our organisation’s obligation is to do whatever we can we put a stop to abuse of our people.”

Swans chief Tom Harley said on SEN the club was working on the “very, very decliate balance between condemnation and support”.

Taylor brought to light the abuse in a post he made on Instagram apologising for his actions.

“Honestly I’m extremely sorry for being selfish with my actions,” he wrote in his first public comments since the ban.

“I know what I’ve done not only affected me and the players but many others that all love the game. I understand that a lot of people are angry but racism really doesn’t fix anything.”

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