‘Totally unacceptable’: AFL bans Port star for ‘unprompted and highly offensive’ homophobic slur


Port Adelaide forward Jeremy Finlayson has been given a three-game suspension after admitting to making a homophobic slur towards an unnamed Essendon player.

The AFL deemed Finlayson used an “unprompted and highly offensive” remark during the third quarter of the Power’s 69-point win against the Bombers on Friday night.

As well as missing three games, Finlayson will be required to attend a Pride In Sport training program that he will have to pay for himself.

In determining the sanction, the AFL took into account the 28-year-old apologising and owning up to his mistake the following day.

“Everyone, including Jeremy understands the word he used is both hurtful and totally unacceptable in any setting, ever,” AFL general counsel Stephen Meade said.

Jeremy Finlayson. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

“The AFL is very clear that homophobia has no place in our game, nor in society. 

“We want all people in LGBTQI+ communities to feel safe playing or attending our games and we know the incident that happened on the weekend does not assist this goal.

“As a code we will continue to work together to improve our game as a safe and inclusive environment for all.

“The AFL will continue to consider the specific circumstances in each incident in determining appropriate responses.

“Jeremy’s sanction would have been higher if he didn’t immediately understand and take ownership of his mistake both privately and publicly.”

Port Adelaide immediately confirmed they had accepted the outcome of the AFL’s investigation.

“I unreservedly apologise again to the Essendon player, my teammates, Port Adelaide members and supporters and the LGBTQIA+ community for the distress I have caused,” Finlayson said.

Port president David Koch also apologised on behalf of the club.

“What was said is totally unacceptable and comments of this nature do not align with what our club stands for,” he said.

“Port Adelaide is a place for everyone so we are very disappointed with what occurred on Friday night.

“We will now provide education for Jeremy and offer him and his family support during this time.

“We do not underestimate the seriousness of this matter and look forward to the AFL applying consistency to such cases in the future.”

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

In 2022, the NRL suspended Warriors winger Marcelo Montoya for four matches after directing a homophobic slur at North Queensland star Kyle Feldt.

The NRL wanted a six-week ban, but took Montoya’s previous good record, the remorse he had shown and his guilty plea into consideration.

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