The AFL is investigating reports that Carlton star Adam Saad was racially assaulted by a fan at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.
According to reports from Carlton’s cheer squad, the fan called Saad a “terrorist” in the Crows’ 29-point win.
Alarmingly, people sitting nearby claim the fan was contacted by security but was allowed to remain inside the venue for the duration of the game.
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“The AFL are currently investigating alleged comments by a spectator at AO (Adelaide Oval) last night,” the AFL statement read.
“Football is a place of inclusion and belonging and there is no room for racist behavior in our game.
“No one in our game or in the community deserves to be discriminated against and vilified because of their faith or race and there is simply no excuse for that.”
The Crows also issued a separate statement, confirming that there would be an investigation into “alleged racially motivated abuse”.
“We do not tolerate and strongly condemn any form of discriminatory behavior and it has no place in football or society,” the club said.
“Adelaide Oval should be an inclusive and family-friendly environment.”
This is not the first time a football fan has branded an AFL player a ‘terrorist’ at Adelaide Oval.
In 2014, a Port Adelaide supporter was banned from the pitch for using the same racial slur against Bashar Houli of Richmond.
Houli and Saad would later take a public stance together, celebrating diversity in the AFL by kissing as opponents in a game in 2018.
AFL boss Gill McLachlan has always taken a tough stance against racism in the game, saying there was “no room for it”.
“Our message is clear, if you spread racism, whether online or in a game, there is no place for you in football. You are not welcome. This behavior is illegal. for a reason,” he previously said.
“Everyone in our game has the right to feel safe and supported and we encourage everyone in our game to report racism and speak out against this behavior when it’s safe to do so.”
According to Adelaide Oval’s code of conduct, anyone who engages in racial abuse “may be removed” from the venue.
“Depending on the seriousness of the behavior, anyone expelled may face banning, suspension from membership and/or police charges,” the code of conduct states.