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Eddie Betts reveals how he was silenced by the Adelaide Crows after receiving vile racist letter

Eddie Betts reveals how he was silenced by the Adelaide Crows after receiving a despicable racist letter during Sir Doug Nicholls round

  • Betts recently released his autobiography about his life and AFL career
  • He describes an incident with a racist letter he received from the Crows
  • Betts wanted to make the letter public about racism in the AFL. to bring under attention
  • However, the club talked him out of it, which he regrets to this day

Adelaide and Carlton champion Eddie Betts has outlined a shocking incident of racism during his time with the Crows, which was covered up by the AFL club.

Betts recently released his explosive autobiography The Boy From Boomerang Crescent, which: outlines the cowardly racist attack that took place during the 2016 Sir Doug Nicholls round, but was covered up by the club at the time.

“The letter contained a photo of me giving Jarryd Lyons a high-five on the Adelaide Oval training track,” Betts wrote.

Eddie Betts of the Crows celebrates after kicking a goal with the club’s native strip

“In big black Texta right above my head, some racist had written the words ‘A–F—-T’.

“I sat there speechless for a moment after I opened it.

“Then I was like, ‘Yeah — again. Here it is again’.’

The letter shocked Betts, who would be the face of the club at a media event to promote Sir Doug Nicholls’ round to celebrate indigenous players and culture.

Betts has now retired but works as an assistant coach with the Geelong Cats

Betts has now retired but works as an assistant coach with the Geelong Cats

Betts wanted to expose the racist letter to the media opportunity, but first thought he should consult the club about his plans.

“That week I was to hold a press conference with the Adelaide media on behalf of the Crows,” he wrote.

‘I knew I had to tell what I had received in the mail.

‘At the same time, I didn’t want to create too much hassle and work for the people around me.

“(My wife) Anna and I had called the club and asked for a 9am meeting, and I was supposed to do a presser at 11am after practice.

“I didn’t feel like I could mention the letter without at least telling the club what I wanted to do.

“When we walked into the meeting with the club, I immediately looked at completely white faces.

Betts wanted to use the letter as an example of the racism that exists in the game and shine a light on it.

Taylor Walker and Eddie Betts of the Crows come off the field after the round four AFL game between the Adelaide Crows and Essendon Bombers in 2017

Taylor Walker and Eddie Betts of the Crows come off the field after the round four AFL game between the Adelaide Crows and Essendon Bombers in 2017

But when he presented the letter and his case to the Crows, they persuaded him to open his mouth.

“I knew they wouldn’t quite understand what I was going to show them — how things like this cut me to the core, and especially the effect the word ‘a–‘ can have,” Betts wrote.

“I said to the club, ‘Listen, I really want to bring this piece of paper to this press conference and when the journalists ask me why the AFL has the Indigenous Round, I want to say: This is why.”

“I wanted to hold it up and maybe even just walk out — leave the piece of paper in the press conference.

“Then the club representatives spoke and Anna and I listened.

“Nowadays I’d do it without even telling them because they essentially persuaded us not to say anything.

“On closer inspection, they tried to minimize any kind of media frenzy for my game, but maybe this was more important than the game itself?”

Not talking about the racist letter at the time has been a big regret for Betts ever since

Not talking about the racist letter at the time has been a big regret for Betts ever since

Betts said not saying anything hurt deeply and he now regrets not saying anything publicly at the time.

I was in real pain,” he wrote.

“I answered questions about why we celebrate the Sir Doug Nicholls Round, how it emphasizes our culture and our manners, while that folded piece of paper was in my pocket.”

The Crows declined to comment when approached by the Herald Sun on Thursday.

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