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Port's indigenous players to have say in fan's fate

Fan throws an object during the Showdown Crows and Port have released statements stating they are 'disgusted' and 'appalled' at the incident
GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - JULY 23: Eddie Betts of the Crows in action during the 2016 AFL Round 18 match between the Geelong Cats and the Adelaide Crows at Simonds Stadium on July 23, 2016 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)
Adelaide small forward Eddie Betts
It's not about, see you later, you're gone indefinitely, it's about educating people
Power Aboriginal programs manager, Paul Vandenbergh

PORT Adelaide's indigenous players and the club's Aboriginal programs manager will decide if the supporter who racially insulted Adelaide star Eddie Betts is allowed to have her membership reinstated in the future.

The Power handed down an indefinite suspension to a female member who threw a banana towards Betts during Saturday night's Showdown at Adelaide Oval.

The club initially banned the member for next year, but increased that after speaking to witnesses who confirmed it was racially motivated.

Port Adelaide chairman David Koch has moved away from his earlier suggestions that the member be banned for life.

"We've decided on an indefinite ban, then the opportunity for this member to do the Aboriginal cultural awareness program," Koch told SEN on Monday morning.

"She will then have the opportunity to sit down with our seven Aboriginal players to understand why actions like this are so hurtful.

"If it is (accepted) and she can show cause in the future of why she should be readmitted to our membership, it will be up to Paul (Vandenbergh) and our Aboriginal players to decide on that."

Vandenbergh is Port Adelaide's Aboriginal programs manager.

Koch said he wasn't able to speak to the supporter personally, but that Port Adelaide's general manager of consumer business and marketing, Matthew Richardson, informed her of the club's decision on Sunday.

Koch said discussions between the club and the supporter were on-going.

"We've got to change behaviour," Koch said.

"We've got to get beyond sacrificing people and cutting them off.

"We're all about change and changing attitudes and getting the message across."

Vandenbergh said he was getting frustrated that the Power's supporters were tarred with the same brush.

"I was starting to get a little bit frustrated that it was starting to label our club as a racist club," Vandenbergh told Triple M on Monday morning.

"All we wanted to do was to give this young lady an opportunity to understand why what she was doing was really offensive.

"It's open to anyone that wants to be part of the cultural awareness program that we deliver.

"It's not about, see you later, you're gone indefinitely, it's about educating people.

"We want to educate her, we want to educate the wider community about Aboriginal people and culture and give people a sense of pride about Aboriginal people and how beautiful our culture really is when they get a better understanding of that."

Meanwhile, AFL Players Indigenous Advisory Board chairman Shaun Burgoyne applauded Port Adelaide's swift action.

"There's no room for racism of any form in our game and we are saddened that incidents of this nature continue to occur," he said in a statement.

"We want fans to be passionate and cheer for their team, but there's a line and it was clearly crossed on this occasion."