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Bulldog accepts apology over racial vilification

Callum Twomey  April 13, 2015 4:04 PM

Tiger fan apology, Pendles scans and more Matt Thompson and Nat Edwards with Footy Feed
AFL 2015 Rd 02 - Richmond v Western Bulldogs

Lin Jong has accepted the apology

LIN JONG has accepted the apology of a Richmond supporter who racially vilified the Western Bulldogs midfielder during Saturday's clash at the MCG.

The Tigers fan, Roy McCarthy, came forward on Monday, after the Melbourne Cricket Club and AFL were alerted to an incident that took place during the Dogs' 19-point win.

McCarthy expressed his regret over his comments.

"To his (Jong's) family, I'm sorry for what I said and to the Western Bulldogs, I'm very sorry," McCarthy told Channel Seven on Monday night.

"I'm (a) half-caste Aborigine myself and I know what it feels like, so I'm sorry about what I said."

Jong accepted McCarthy's apology in a video posted on the club's website on Monday afternoon.

"It is disappointing these incidents still arise and I want to say to all football fans, including our own, that any abusive behaviour based on someone's skin colour, race, sexuality or anything like that is just not acceptable in this day and age," Jong said.

"Not in the game, and not in society in general." 

The 21-year-old is the first AFL player of East Timorese and Taiwanese descent, and joined the Dogs at pick nine in the 2012 NAB AFL Rookie Draft.

Jong said the experience had underlined how important it is to embrace diversity in the game.

"It takes courage to come out and apologise, and I want to commend the Richmond supporter for doing so. He could have easily remained anonymous, but he chose to come forward and acknowledge his mistake," Jong said.
 
"I want him to know that I accept his apology. Doing this enables us all to move on and made me learn and teach something to make our community a little bit more embracing and accepting of diversity."

Richmond chief executive Brendon Gale said the club would not tolerate vilification.

"As a club, we take any suggestion of racist behaviour very seriously, and we followed it up accordingly," Gale said on Sunday.

"While no action was taken in this case, it is a reminder that any such behaviour is totally unacceptable. 

"Lin Jong is a fine young player and we should be celebrating the diversity he brings to our game."