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Adelaide Crows training camp, Eddie Betts book, Richmond theme song, what happened, Indigenous players offended

AFL champion Eddie Betts has revealed how much Adelaide’s controversial training camp affected him, writing he felt “a piece of me was brainwashed”.

The Crows’ now infamous 2018 pre-season management camp – details of which revealed in March of that year – saw a number of players and officials leave the club.

Nine excerpts from Betts’ forthcoming autobiography, ‘Boomerang Crescent Boy’, described the three-time Australian player’s camp as “weird” and “absolutely disrespectful”.

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Betts wrote that personal details shared during a counseling session at the camp were misused, and that the camp was abusing sensitive Aboriginal cultural practices.

“The camp tried to adapt the First Nations ‘talking stick’ ritual and apply it to all of us, including non-native players and coaches.

“In my view, the talking stick was used incorrectly, and I did not know that any elder had given permission for it to be used.

“There were all kinds of weird things that were disrespectful to many cultures, but very disrespectful to my culture in particular.”

Betts said his experiences during the camp caused him to lose form and ultimately decided to return to Carlton before retiring at the end of his senior year.

Anna, 35, wrote: “We noticed that I was starting to stress over the kids and I started to get really bad anxiety,” which prompted the couple to discuss the situation at the camp.

Betts made sure Richmond’s theme song was played repeatedly during training sessions.

At one point he was roped into a harness and camp teachers verbally abused him as he was told to fight in the direction of a knife to cut himself.

“The things I told the camp ‘counselors’ about my upbringing were yelled at. All the people present heard these things,” he wrote.

“I was tired, exhausted and worried about the details shared.

“Another camp-dude jumped on my back and started talking to me about my mother, something so deeply personal that I was devastated to hear it coming out of his mouth.”

Betts wrote that he was removed from the management team three weeks later after confronting the club and telling him he would not participate in any further mental training sessions.

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