THE FOOTY world is rallying around Carlton star Eddie Betts, who was racially vilified in a disgusting social media post on Sunday night.
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Betts posted a screenshot of the image over the weekend, writing: "If at any time anyone is wondering why we work so hard to bring attention to the importance of stamping out racism, this is it.
"If ever there was a time where our focus on this needs to continue more than ever, it's now.
"We each have a responsibility to ourselves and each other. To continue to listen. To learn. To educate.
"To ignore it is to be part of the problem, to call it out is to be part of the solution."
The horrible racial attack came after players across the competition took a knee prior to round two matches in order to bring attention to the Black Lives Matter movement.
AFL clubs including Carlton and Sydney, and players such as Chad Wingard, Neville Jetta and Shaun Burgoyne, all posted in response to Betts' message sharing their support for the Blues great.
The incident comes after Wingard revealed last week that he had been vilified by racial slurs throughout the early stages of his career, saying he was made to feel like a "piece of dirt" by clubs who didn't call out the abusive messages.
The AFL Integrity Department is investigating the origin of the comments, while CEO Gillon McLachlan said:
"The very reason players and officials took a knee on the weekend was to show support to all the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players and to demonstrate as a collective that racism has no place in football or our community. Racism is abhorrent and causes great harm and trauma, it is not a minor matter.
"On a weekend where we had an opportunity to listen and to learn from our players on the impact that racism has on them, their families and friends, this has again demonstrated why we need to continue to do everything we can to oppose racism wherever and whenever it occurs."
Carlton co-captain Sam Docherty offered a thoughtful response to the incident on Monday morning, saying the club and the industry must act to stop racist attacks against the game's Indigenous players.
"We're seeing at the moment that there's a lot of this in society," Docherty said.
"For what criticism the AFL is getting for being political, I think what we're trying to do is just make it right.
"He's one of our teammates, one of the most-loved figures at our footy club. To see him vilified like that, it does hurt us.
"Anyone that's asking a question about why we're taking a knee pre-game or why we're trying to make a difference or why we're trying to actually do something about it, this is the exact reason why.
"I can't understand what that does to Eddie, I never will. I don't think any of us will who don't go through that. But from a footy club perspective, we've just got to wrap our arms around him.
"Being silent hasn't worked for a number of years, so as an industry and as a footy club, we've got to stand behind our Indigenous players and make a stand."