ESSENDON forward Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti has taken to social media to detail his difficult year after he was the target of racist abuse online following the club's elimination final defeat.
The Bombers removed a racist comment by a supporter on their Facebook page after Sunday's 49-point loss to the Western Bulldogs.
The Bombers released a statement condemning the abuse and also called out "unsavoury comments" directed at rival Bulldogs players, with four-goal forward Cody Weightman among those targeted.
McDonald-Tipungwuti, who did not play in the elimination final, sat out the last three matches of Essendon's season for personal reasons.
"As a society we should never define anyone by the colour of their skin, race, culture or ability," the 28-year-old posted on Instagram.
"In Australia we are one people and a diverse community that should be galvanising together instead of ripping each other apart.
"My family and I like many others are separated by distance and COVID restrictions which has made this year very difficult for all. We all feel isolated and we should be using our words to unite us in the face of adversity."
Essendon responded to the racial abuse of McDonald-Tipungwuti on Monday.
"The appalling comment was identified on the club's Facebook page at the conclusion of the game and was immediately reported and removed," the club said in a statement.
"The club has since identified the individual, an alleged supporter of Essendon, who posted the comment.
"The club has attempted to contact the individual on several occasions on Monday morning and the individual has ignored our attempts to discuss the matter.
"He is not a member of the club.
"Vilification, racial or otherwise, has absolutely no place in our society. This must stop now, and it starts with all of us in calling out this vile behaviour.
"The Essendon Football Club stands in total solidarity with McDonald-Tipungwuti and will continue its fight against racism."
Weightman kicked four goals - all of them from free kicks - as the Bulldogs extended Essendon's finals misery.
The Bombers have not won a finals match since 2004.
"The club is aware of unsavoury comments made to Western Bulldogs players via social media," the Essendon statement said.
"The club condemns any abuse directed toward opposition players in light of the result following Sunday's match or at any time.
"It is hurtful, unnecessary, and not in the spirit of our great game."