The AFL wishes to advise that Gold Coast SUNS player Wil Powell has been found guilty of breaching AFL Rule 2.3(a) (Conduct Unbecoming) in relation to an incident during the first quarter of Sunday night’s match against the Brisbane Lions.
Powell used a highly offensive homophobic slur against a Brisbane opponent, which demeans and denigrates any person regardless of their sexuality.
Powell has received a five-match suspension, he will not be eligible to play for Gold Coast during Rounds 9 - 13 including playing in the VFL. 
“It is extremely disappointing to be dealing with a similar incident in only a matter of weeks,” AFL General Counsel Stephen Meade said.
“The AFL acknowledges Powell’s remorse and cooperation, and while it has considered the circumstances in which the comment was made, there are no excuses for this conduct in our game.
“We foreshadowed both publicly and privately that after what transpired at Gather Round if a similar incident was to happen there would be further consequence.
“There could be no clearer message - homophobia has no place in our game, nor in society. We want all people in the community to feel welcomed in our game and comments such as Powell’s only takes away from this. As a code, as a community, we all must be better.”
The AFL will continue to consider the specific circumstances in each incident in determining appropriate responses and does not consider that it is bound by the level of sanctions that it has previously imposed for similar incidents. 
In this instance, it was appropriate to increase the sanction for such conduct to reflect the AFL’s deep concern about this repeat in close proximity to the last occurrence and in order to further deter such conduct in the future.
The AFL is also investigating and committed to increase the current yearly education programs regarding vilification that all AFL and AFLW players undertake. These efforts will build on the anti-vilification training across our code at all levels.