Adelaide Football Club’s star player, the indigenous athlete Eddie Betts, had a banana thrown at him during a game of the Australian Football League.
The woman who flung the fruit at him, presumably a supporter of the rival Port Adelaide team, also made a rude hand gesture at the player as he and a group of team-mates celebrated a goal.
This seems like an obvious case of good ol’ racism that has proved to be a persistent and apparently insurmountable problem for Australian sports. Despite the racially motivated nature of the incident, the authorities are unwilling to label the crime as racism.
"We're investigating the incident, we've identified the person responsible," Port Adelaide Football Club Chairman David Kochsaid during a press conference. "In the interests of fairness we need to talk to the person responsible first."
AFL has banned the unidentified woman for a year. If her actions are proven to be incited by race, she will have her membership revoked for life.
This incident is not dissimilar to the racism many other indigenous players have been subjected to.
Sydney Stars player Adam Goodes regularly had racial slurs hurled at him with legions of rival clubs fans jeering at him. The situation only worsened when Goodes pointed out a 13-year-old girl who called him an ape.
He was bullied into retirement.
Meanwhile, as authorities are shying away from the word "racism," many on the internet are not scared to call out the league’s cowardice.
AFL- "We definitely thought about using the word racism in our Eddie Betts statement but we fixed that when the Goodes stuff happened."— Titus O'Reily (@TitusOReily) August 21, 2016
Kochie drawing up a huge wall chart of all the possible motivations for throwing a banana at Eddie Betts. "Hmm...if only we knew"— Ben Pobjie (@benpobjie) August 21, 2016
hey @AFL you know what the subtext of throwing a banana at an Indigenous player is? that they're an ape. it's not hard. call it what it is— Amy Coopes (@coopesdetat) August 21, 2016