Jeremy Finlayson Apologises For Using Homophobic Slur

Jeremy Finlayson Apologises For Using Homophobic Slur
Image: Source: AFL Photos

Port Adelaide AFL player Jeremy Finlayson has apologised after saying a homophobic slur against an Essendon Bombers player on Friday April 5th. 

The slur was picked up by on-field microphones worn by umpires, and was called out by other Bombers players. Finlayson reported the incident at the three-quarter time break, and also apologised to the currently unknown victim after the game ended. 

In a statement released by Port Adelaide, Finlayson shared regret at his usage of the word and said that he immediately acknowledged it was wrong. 

“The words I used were very unacceptable in the game of football and we need to stamp it out, and I’m very remorseful,” he said. “I knew straight away that it’s not acceptable, and I take full responsibility for that.

“I let everyone know what happened, and now it’s in the hands of the AFL to investigate.” 

AFL spokesperson Jay Allen confirmed that the League was taking the matter “extremely seriously.” He said: “AFL Integrity Unit are now investigating and we will provide an update once that investigation is completed.” 

This follows an incident in March where North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson was fined $20,000 and given a suspension for homophobic slurs directed at St Kilda players after an incident during a practice match.

Responses to Jeremy Finlayson’s apology

Following Finlayson’s remarks on Friday night, there have been a number of responses to both Finlayson’s actions and the AFL’s response.

Gay TikToker Scott O’Halloran (@Scottscotto) posted a furious rant about the AFL’s homophobia problem on Sunday April 7th, citing the fact there have been two incidents this year.

@scottoscotto

Thinking of the gay AFL players today ! #AFL #Homophobia

♬ original sound – Scottscotto

O’Halloran said: “I am asking the AFL to reconsider Alastair Clarkson’s punishment and to take this into consideration when it comes to Jeremy Finlayson, because in any other organisation in Australia you would immediately lose your role for speaking to a colleague like this.” 

“There has never been a gay AFL player that has come out of the closet and I wonder why. It comes from the top down.” 

Meanwhile, Port Adelaide chairman and former Sunrise host David Koch appeared on ABC Offsiders where he seemed to downplay Finalyson’s actions. 

He said: “[Clarkson’s incident] is very different to a player in the heat of battle, when there was a lot of niggle in the game… absolutely no excuse, not condoning it and should not be part of the game. But if you’re looking at comparisons, there’s the benchmark.”

Koch also said that it was “not realistic” that the slur was as bad as Taylor Walker’s racial slur in 2021. 

AFL fans responded on X/Twitter outraged by Koch’s statements, with writer Michael O’Donnell echoing general sentiment surrounding the comments: 

Finlayson is currently awaiting the results of the AFL Integrity Unit’s investigation into the incident.

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