In a shocking new revelation in his autobiography ‘The boy from Boomerang Crescent,’, Eddie Betts says he was talked into silence by the Adelaide Crows after receiving a racist letter during the week of Sig Doug Nicholls round in 2016.
The 350-game legend for Carlton and Adelaide this week released his book, with details of the Crows’ now-infamous 2018 pre-season camp making major headlines — revelations both Adelaide and the AFL have apologised to him for.
Betts also disclosed racism he encountered during his career including the letter he received via the club six years ago.
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“It (the letter) carried a picture of me high-fiving Jarryd Lyons on the training track at Adelaide Oval,” Betts wrote.
“In big black Texta right above my head some racist had written the words ‘A** F****T’.
“I sat there speechless for a moment after I’d opened it. Then I was like, ‘Yep — again. Here it is again.’”
Betts at the time had been set to do a press conference on behalf of the Crows after training at 11am, but called a meeting with club bosses at 9am.
However the Indigenous star revealed he was told to stay hush on the matter.
“I didn’t feel like I could mention the letter without at least telling the club what I wanted to do. When we walked into the meeting with the club, straight away I was looking at all-white faces,” Betts said.
“I knew that they would not fully understand what I was about to show them — how stuff like this cuts me to the core, and in particular the effect the word ‘a**’ can have.
“I said to the club, ‘listen, I really want to take this piece of paper into this press conference and when the journos ask me why the AFL has the Indigenous Round, I want to say ‘this is why.’
“I wanted to hold it up and maybe even just walk out — leaving the piece of paper in the press conference.
“Then the club representatives spoke and Anna (his wife) and I listened … these days, I would do it without even telling them, because essentially they talked us into not saying anything.
“Upon reflection, they were trying to minimise any type of media circus before my game, but maybe this was more important than the game itself?”
It comes as several Crows players have reportedly expressed interest in pursuing a class action against the AFL and their former club over the fallout from the 2018 pre-season camp amid it’s renewed focus this week.
The Age reported on Thursday night that Greg Griffin, an Adelaide lawyer, had been in contact with former players over the past 24 hours and for some time beforehand.
“The recent days have not diminished interest from a range of players,” Griffin said.
“I’ve spoken to a number of players over the past 24 hours. I think the release of Eddie’s book has intensified the feelings that players who attended the camp had.”