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AFL Statement

The AFL wishes to advise that Port Adelaide player Jeremy Finlayson has been found guilty of breaching AFL Rule 2.3(a) (Conduct Unbecoming) in relation to an incident during the third quarter of Friday’s nights match against Essendon.

Finlayson used an unprompted and highly offensive homophobic slur against an Essendon opponent, which demeans and denigrates persons regardless of their sexuality.

Finlayson has received a three-match suspension and is required to attend appropriate Pride in Sport training as approved by the AFL in which Finlayson will pay for personally.

He will not be eligible to play for Port Adelaide during Round 5, 6 and 7, including playing in the SANFL.

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In determining the sanction, the AFL took into account Finlayson’s immediate apology and contrition, both privately on the night, publicly the next day and again on Monday.

To be clear, without the full and frank admissions, apologies and contrition that Finlayson showed, the sanction would have included a longer suspension.

“Everyone, including Jeremy understands the word he used is both hurtful and totally unacceptable in any setting, ever,” AFL General Counsel Stephen Meade said.

“The AFL is very clear that homophobia has no place in our game, nor in society. We want all people in LGBTQI+ communities to feel safe playing or attending our games and we know the incident that happened on the weekend does not assist this goal. As a code we will continue to work together to improve our game as a safe and inclusive environment for all.

“The AFL will continue to consider the specific circumstances in each incident in determining appropriate responses. Jeremy’s sanction would have been higher if he didn’t immediately understand and take ownership of his mistake both privately and publicly.”

All AFL and AFLW Players and officials receive yearly education regarding vilification and the effects of such behaviour, and we will continue to build on anti-vilification training across our code at all levels.