Harry Sheezel during the 2022 NAB League preliminary final between Sandringham and Gippsland. Picture: AFL Photos

THE AFL is investigating "deplorable and unacceptable" anti-Semitic abuse directed at top draft prospect Harry Sheezel.

Sheezel, who is poised to be drafted in the top five at the NAB AFL Draft on Monday night, was subjected to discriminatory comments online on the weekend.

In a statement, the AFL condemned the abuse and said its integrity unit is investigating whether any of them came from club members.

"The AFL is aware of discriminatory commentary online directed towards a draft nominee," the AFL said.

"To denounce a young man on the eve of realising his dream of being drafted to the AFL is deplorable and unacceptable, and there is no place for this type of behaviour anywhere in our community.

"This morning the AFL contacted the player's management, and the AFL Integrity Department is investigating as to whether those who made comments are genuine social media accounts and if they are club members."


Sheezel, who is expected to land at North Melbourne in the draft, said the commentary was disrespectful and uneducated.

"My initial reaction was I kind of found it quite disrespectful, obviously," Sheezel told News Corp.

"I think they're just ignorant and uneducated and they're probably not sure about the impact that stuff can have, but to be honest, I don't let that stuff affect me.

"I just think those people probably need to learn and they need to find out that that's not right or tolerated in today's society.

"I just try to move on from that, just focus on my football."

Harry Sheezel in action during the NAB League Boys clash between Sandringham and Oakleigh at RSEA Park on August 20, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Jewish players have historically had low representation in the AFL, with Todd Goldstein (North Melbourne), Ezra Poyas (Richmond and Melbourne) and Julian Kirzner (Essendon, Carlton and North Melbourne) among the small group to have reached the top level.

'IT'S KIND OF SPECIAL' Sheezel hopes to inspire Jewish footy community

Speaking to AFL.com.au earlier this year, Sheezel said he was happy to embrace being a role model for the Jewish community.

"There hasn't been as many Jewish footballers lately to make it into the AFL, so it's kind of special to hopefully be the first one (drafted) in a while. Everyone has been so supportive and living it with me, in a sense," Sheezel said in May.

"I hope to be pretty inspiring for younger kids as well because I feel like the Jewish community is really into sport as well, they love their footy, so hopefully I can inspire a few more kids to hopefully go down the same path. 

"Along the way you see how much it means to people in the community. I never really thought of it until I've started to be in the media a little bit more and everyone is all over it now. It's pretty cool. And at school it's kind of new for them, they don't really know how to act and neither do I so I just embrace it."