THE AFL Commission met on Tuesday and Commission Chairman Richard Goyder released the following statement in response to the Do Better Report on the Collingwood Football Club and the decision by Collingwood president Eddie McGuire to stand down.
The AFL Commission wants to reiterate our stance that as a governing body we are committed to demonstrating our commitment to anti-racism. Racism is not, and never will be, acceptable in our game and that there are no circumstances where racism can be allowed to occur unchecked.
"We want all people to be able to belong and feel welcome in our game and we know this is not possible while racism and discrimination exists at any level. As the game’s governing body it is our responsibility to lead conversations in our game and in our football community that address racism and ensure we have behaviours, actions, programs, processes and beliefs in place that support a safe environment for all.
"We have not always succeeded in doing that but we remain committed to working with our Clubs, players, coaches, staff and with cultural leaders to create positive change in our communities through creating positive change in our game.
"The AFL Commission also wants to acknowledge the decision by the President of the Collingwood Football Club, Eddie McGuire, to step down today effective immediately.
"Eddie has made an enormous contribution to the Collingwood Football Club and Australian Rules Football over the past 22 years and we will have time to properly acknowledge his contribution to the club and to the football community in the weeks ahead but one thing is clear in that Eddie leaves Collingwood in better shape than when he started as President.
"Eddie’s actions today showed his commitment to put the Collingwood Football Club first and to ensure the focus for the club was on moving to implement the 18 recommendations of the Do Better report.
"The AFL Executive are reviewing the Do Better Report and will present their report to the AFL’s Indigenous Advisory Council and we will ask for them to provide their views on the next steps for the AFL Commission in helping our football community better understand and fight all forms of racism and discrimination.
"The AFL Commission understands the change that football can make when it is united and focused on change and we know we have to do more to lead the fight against racism. We accept that responsibility. Part of that means having more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices and the voices of other people of colour in the conversation and listening to the stories and taking action."