HAWTHORN star Chad Wingard has revealed he was made to feel like a "piece of dirt" throughout the early stages of his career by AFL clubs who didn't call out racist attacks that were directed towards him.
Wingard, who announced on his social media platforms that he was undertaking a mainstream media ban in the wake of Australia's coverage of Black Lives Matter protests in the United States, said he was receiving abuse on a weekly basis early in his career.
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Having spoken to Tony Armstrong about his monologue on Yokayi Footy this week (watch it in the player below), where the former AFL player spoke out about being racially profiled, Wingard has revealed his own experiences of dealing with racism and the response from AFL clubs.
"If they're going to write this for everyone to see on my photo, we've got to call them out," Wingard told The Advertiser's 'Black Australia' podcast.
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"They have now. The AFL and AFL clubs do call it out now, but this wasn't happening at the start of my career.
"This was on a weekly basis. If you go into your DMs (direct messages) or if you go into a photo, that was normal. That was normal and clubs didn't want to call it out at all and it made you feel like a piece of dirt, that you weren't good enough for them to back you in."
Wingard also relayed a disturbing story when he and his former Indigenous teammates had been racially profiled in Perth.
"I'm not at Port (Adelaide) now so I can say it - we used to have a choccy run, go to the shops the night before a game and get a couple of chocolates," Wingard said.
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"Me, Jakey Neade, Alipate Carlile and Jackson Trengove used to come with us, but this time it was just me and Jake in a supermarket in Perth.
"We got our chocolates and came to the front desk to pay for it and the guy (shop attendant) got really aggressive and said 'empty your pockets, you guys are stealing'. Neadey was calm and I fired up ... to the point there was this burning desire I could feel inside me.
"Just from that simple thing we were minding our own business paying for our food, we were literally made to open all our pockets and show him we were not stealing, we paid for our food and we left."