The B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC), Australia’s leading civil and human rights organisation fighting hatred in all its forms, has registered its strong concern and shock at the Eddie Betts incident in which a banana was thrown at the indigenous Adelaide Crows player by a young woman. AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan has labelled the action of the woman as racist. The ADC’s groundbreaking anti-bias educational program Click Against Hate now runs in more than 110 schools and has been hailed for the positive, transformational impact in teaching students about the dangers of racism and effective ways to tackle this growing problem.
Dr. Abramovich, Chairman of the ADC, issued the following statement:
“This shameful incident proves that sadly racism remains a pervasive menace and blight on our community. Such bigotry is an affront to every human being and should never be ignored. We in the Jewish community are accustomed to such racial taunts and vilification. The history of prejudice and discrimination around the world teaches us that no society is immune to hate. Young people should be taught that demeaning behaviour, words and vicious stereotypes are often the beginning to harassment and physical violence and understand the dangers of their action. It is our collective duty to declare our zero-tolerance to racism, on and off the field. Sportspeople are often role models, and must use their fame and following to engage and inspire young people by their anti- racism message, reaching hearts in a way that politicians will never do. The AFL was right in labelling this conduct as racist and in reinforcing that we must respond every time we hear or see any slur, regardless whether it was used in a joking or in a serious manner, and never brush it aside. Players, coaches and sporting organisations must stand together and say that hateful words and actions are not cool and that any racially motivated behaviour is totally unacceptable.”
The Anti-Defamation Commission, founded in 1979, is Australia’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through educational programs that combat bigotry, prejudice and all forms of hatred.
For further information please contact Dr Dvir Abramovich on (03) 9272 5677.