Lions star Callum Ah Chee has launched a beleaguered plea after facing racist abuse online following the acquittal of Patrick Cripps for their Sunday afternoon clash.
Ah Chee suffered a concussion in the Carlton skipper’s heavy hit in the second quarter of the Lions’ win over the Blues. AFL concussion protocols had already ruled him out of Friday’s clash against St Kilda.
On Thursday night, Cripps was cleared in a marathon appeal hearing of a two-game rough conduct charge for the hit – a decision that Kangaroos great David King called “astounding”.
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Posting the screenshots of the abuse to her account on Friday morning, Ah Chee said the comments were “not something you want to wake up to in the morning”.
“How can this keep happening? Why can’t my brothers and I just play the game we love without having to worry about this kind of crap,” he said.
“If my son grows up playing the game, I hope he doesn’t have to deal with this hate.
“It hurts and I’m sick of seeing it.”
The Lions also reported the abuse to the AFL Integrity Unit. In their own statement, the Lions said they “strongly condemn” the comments.
“This is disgusting behavior and we must, and will continue to speak out against it. There is no place for racism in sport, or in society, period,” the statement read.
“The Brisbane Lions celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and the incredible contribution that Indigenous players have made to our club and our great game.
“It’s disappointing to have to, but at times like this we’re taking a football club approach to urging people to educate themselves about the harmful effects of racist comments and abuse. line.”
With two rounds to play, the Lions are currently locked in a close battle for a place in the top four with Collingwood, Melbourne, Sydney and Fremantle.
They face St Kilda on Friday, then Melbourne in a blockbuster at the MCG next Friday night.
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