Adelaide’s Taylor Walker has broken his silence over racial slur directed towards SANFL player Robbie Young, apologising for his comment and announcing he will take time away from football to “let people heal” and “educate myself”.
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In a video posted to the Adelaide Football Club’s website, Walker appeared in a video alongside Young, who offered to stand next to the Crows forward for the clip.
Walker apologised to Young, his family and the wider Indigenous community.
“Robbie expressed his feelings to me to sit next to me today,” Walker said in the video.
“I’m so thankful that you’re here mate, sitting next to me. Thank you for accepting my apology. You’ve shown huge courage and support to me.”
An emotional Walker struggled to get his words out initially and was consoled by Young, who put a reassuring hand on his shoulder.
“I want to apologise to you and your family,” Walker said to Young.
“To the Adelaide official and his family. To all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and their communities for the pain, hurt and disappointment I’ve caused.
“What I’ve said was racism and it’s totally unacceptable. I’ve lost trust and respect from everyone, and I know that, and I’ve got work to do. I’m going to take some time away from the football club to let people heal.
“I’m now going to educate myself, which is going to take some time, because I want to be better for it and I want to influence people around me, because there’s no place for racism in society.
“I’m going to lean on you Robbie, I’m going to lean on the AFL and others around me to support me. Thanks mate.”
Speaking on Fox Footy’s AFL 360, Hawthorn legend Jason Dunstall said Walker will be feeling the consequences of his actions for a long time to come.
“It was heartfelt, he said what he needed to stay,” Dunstall said.