Police investigation after AFL fan unleashes 'racist attack' on trainer mid-match

A police investigation is underway after a man was filmed hurling a shocking tirade, said to be directed at a Brisbane Lions trainer, during a footy match - a fortnight after the AFL told racist fans not to come to its games.

 

The allegedly racist act was filmed by another fan during Saturday’s Lions V Western Bulldogs match at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium.

Footage shows a man dressed in black stand up in the crowd and yell towards the field: “Go back to the f***ing Chinese takeaway, you d***head.”

The man was filmed by an onlooker during the incident. Photos: Supplied

The man who provided the footage to 7 News Online did not wish to be named however he said he and several other fans witnessed the incident.

He said the man’s comments were “uncalled for”.

The witness claimed the incident occurred after a Lions trainer caused a 50m penalty.

"The man, of Asian descent, accidentally ran across [Bulldogs player] Bob Murphy's mark kicking for goal causing a 50m penalty," he said.

He said after Murphy had kicked the goal and the employee had returned to his post, the man in black stood up and shouted alleged abuse, including racial slurs.


"The man in the video hurled abuse at him which contained racial abuse of 'Go back to the the Asian fish and chip shop',” he claimed.

“Fans were disgusted and staff were notified. A gentleman behind me took notes on his seating and section number and passed it onto the staff at the ground.”

Western Bulldogs player Bob Murphy was playing his milestone 300th game.

Bob Murphy during his 300th game. Photo: Getty

The alleged tirade comes less than two weeks after AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan told "racist" fans not to bother attending games after a number of other racist attacks on players.

"It hurts these people, their families, their communities, it hurts our game," McLachlan told reporters at the time.

The witness at Saturday afternoon's game said other people had stopped the man following his rant.

He said he did not intervene as he claimed the man was “aggressive”.

The man allegedly yelled racial abuse at a trainer during the match. Photo: Supplied

The witness said he did not realise how often racial abuse happened at sports matches.

"After attending the game yesterday it's quite obvious that there is a huge problem not only with racial abuse but abuse itself as these people on the field are at work doing their job," the witness said.

"It's crazy that so much abuse occurs at the footy including racial."

"After the incident you could tell he knew he had made a mistake. But he also kept being abusive with non racial remarks towards Brisbane players and umpires,” he alleged.

The latest alleged incident of racial vilification in the AFL comes a fortnight after indigenous Crows player Eddie Betts was targeted by an offensive slur. Photo: Getty.

Etihad Communications Manager Bill Lane confirmed to 7 News Online the matter was in the hands of the police.

“We’re assisting the AFL with the investigation,” he said.

AFL spokesperson Patrick Keane said the league would “provide assistance to police any way we can”.

Mr Keane reiterated the CEO’s previous statement following the racial slur directed at indigenous Crows player Eddie Betts, saying the AFL’s head of inclusion and social policy Tanya Hosch was working on recommendations for the Commission to come up with strategies to stamp out racist behavior from spectators.

A Western Bulldogs spokesperson told 7 News Online the club was working with the AFL and police on the matter, and would determine the next step as the investigations developed.

The Brisbane Lions was also contacted for comment.

A Victoria Police spokesperson told 7 News Online it was investigating “an incident of racial abuse at the Western Bulldogs V Brisbane Lions AFL match at Etihad Stadium yesterday” but could not comment further.

Anyone who witnessed the alleged incident was encouraged to come forward and speak to police.

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