Mua Laloifi in action during Carlton's clash against Essendon in round nine, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

STAR Carlton defender Mua Laloifi was racially vilified during the Blues' loss to Essendon at Windy Hill on Saturday.

The 30-year-old told the club after she was targeted in the third term, with the AFL Integrity Unit immediately notified.

The individual has not yet been identified, with the integrity team currently investigating.

Carlton said Laloifi was "deeply hurt" by the incident.

"We are shattered as a club that a person we deeply care for in Mua, who brings so much joy and love to so many people, would be subjected to such disgusting behaviour," Carlton CEO Brian Cook said.

"Such behaviour is not welcome at any level of society, let alone at the football. Coming to the football should be a safe and enjoyable place for all, it is not a place for such ignorant and bigoted language. 


"Our focus and our energy continues to be on doing everything we possibly can to support Mua during this time, who has been put in a position that no person deserves to experience."

Essendon released the following statement: "The club strongly condemns this behaviour.

"Vilification, racial or otherwise, has absolutely no place in our society. We must continue to use our platform as a club to call out this behaviour and make a stand against this hateful and hurtful act.

"The matter has been referred to the AFL's Integrity Unit. The club will now work to identify the individual with the view to educate and, where possible, apply the appropriate punishments.

"Essendon Football Club sincerely apologises to Laloifi and the Carlton Football Club for this abhorrent behaviour."

Mua Laloifi is tackled by Paige Scott during Carlton's clash against Essendon in round nine, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Laloifi is a fan favourite among the Blues faithful, having opted to continue her football development in the VFLW with Collingwood and the Western Bulldogs instead of representing her birth country of Samoa in basketball. 

The intercept defender has played 44 games since debuting in 2020, drafted as a mature-age player.

In a statement, the AFL confirmed it will investigate the incident.

"Racism is never ok. Racist comments cause significant hurt and harm for the player involved and their families and we stand with all our clubs in calling out racist behaviour," the statement said.

"The AFL wants to make it clear that there is no place for racism in our game and those who are found to be responsible for vilification at our matches will receive a lifetime ban and are no longer welcome at the footy.

"Since the beginning of the 2023 season the AFL has acted on this and issued 17 lifetime bans for fans who have been found guilty of racial vilification."