AFL News: Pressure grows for Finlayson to cop ban for ‘unacceptable’ homophobic slur, Port coaching change on the way


AFL head of football Laura Kane has indicated Alastair Clarkson’s fine and suspended ban for a homophobic slur won’t be used as a reference point in determining punishment for Jeremy Finlayson.

Port Adelaide forward Finlayson directed a homophobic slur towards an Essendon player in the third quarter of the Power’s 69-point victory over the Bombers at Adelaide Oval on Friday night.

It is understood an umpire’s microphone picked up the f—-t insult, which was heard by multiple players, and at least one Essendon player also called it out. Warriors winger Marcelo Montoya was banned by the NRL for four matches in 2022 for using the same term in abusing an opponent.

The 28-year-old apologised to the target of his slur post-match, and on Sunday made a formal apology, describing his words as “unacceptable”.

A punishment hasn’t been settled, with the AFL still working through options, but chief executive Andrew Dillon confirmed on Monday it would be determined before the next round of games from Thursday.

Last month, North Melbourne coach Clarkson was fined $20,000 and handed a suspended two-match ban for abusing St Kilda defenders Jimmy Webster and Dougal Howard during a pre-season game.

Clarkson was asked to explain his actions to the AFL after allegedly using the homophobic slur “c*******er” during the practice match.

Kane was asked in a segment on the AFL’s website if it was reasonable to assume Finlayson wouldn’t be suspended, given the precedent that had been set with the Clarkson penalty.

“The really important thing to note here is the consistency with vilification matters is how seriously we take them,” she said.

“They’re incredibly important integrity investigation processes for us because this is not something we want to hear or see on the field, off the field, or in fact in society, and we take all vilification matters incredibly seriously.

“In terms of comparing and contrasting, we investigate all these matters individually and we make sure that any sanction is connected to the incident that we are investigating and that we are dealing with.

Jeremy Finlayson. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

“And that’s what we’ll be doing here in the Jeremy Finlayson matter.”

Earlier on Monday, Dillon was asked how Finlayson’s comment measured up to a racial slur.

In 2021, Adelaide forward Taylor Walker received a six-game ban for uttering a racist remark about a rival reserves player.

“We take them all really seriously and I don’t think you can compare and contrast,” Dillon said.

“But all of them are different, we don’t like them and that’s why we’re looking into it and that’s why there’ll be an accountability.”

Essendon forward Kyle Langford felt the use of a homophobic slur was similar to racist remarks. “It shouldn’t be any different to any kind of racial slur,” Langford told 3AW’s Wide World of Sports on Monday night.

“It’s not acceptable and Jeremy (Finlayson) has owned up to it, so good on him, but the AFL will deal with it.”

Kane and Dillon stressed the AFL did not tolerate homophobic vilification. “I don’t think there’s any place for that anywhere, let alone the league,” Dillon said.

“We take this really seriously and I would prefer to run a proper investigation and a proper process to get to the right outcome.”

Asked whether a punishment for Finlayson should be a “captain’s call” made by him, Dillon indicated that lay with Kane and general counsel Stephen Meade.

Dillon was speaking at a post-Gather Round press conference, where the AFL and the SA government announced the Barossa Valley would host a game in 2025.

Port coaching change on the way

Ken Hinkley is set to hand over the coaching reins to assistant Josh Carr at Port Adelaide with a “handshake agreement” reportedly in place for the transition to happen at the end of next year.

Hinkley managed to avoid the sack last year when he revived the team from a slow start to make the finals.

They are off to a promising 3-1 start this year after Connor Rozee and fellow midfield gun Jason Horne-Francis produced dominant performances to lead their side to a 69-point thrashing of Essendon in the Gather Round.

(Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

The star pair racked up career-high disposal tallies and were the stand-outs in a long list of contributors for the Power in their 17.9 (111) to 6.6 (42) victory at Adelaide Oval on Friday night.

According to reports of Nine’s Footy Classified, Carr did not nominate for the vacant Richmond job last year because he has been assured he will get the Port gig when Hinkley stands aside at the end of 2025.

Club chair David Koch said on the ABC on the weekend that Hinkley was “really supportive of Josh developing into a senior coach”.

“We have extraordinarily high regard for (Carr). You know what sort of bloke he is. He’s got a way, he’s worked at other organisations, he knows the Port Adelaide way, and we put a lot of effort into coaching development,” Koch added.

“We would rather train up from (inside the club) than outside. I’m not sure if a lot of clubs do it, but we have a development coach for coaches.”

with AAP

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