Adelaide chief executive Tim Silvers has issued a public apology to Eddie Betts, saying he was “brainwashed” by the AFL’s grandeur and was “sorry” at the 2018 pre-season camp.
Silvers confirmed that he met Beets via text message Wednesday morning, hours after an excerpt from Beets’ upcoming autobiography ‘Boomerang Moon Boy’ was released.
In it, Betts claims he was subjected to “disrespectful” and “outrageous” practices during counseling sessions, including cultural abuse and psychological manipulation.
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“Eddie is a legend at our club…he’s been with us for six years, lit up Adelaide Oval for a long time. Eddie, Anna and his family are an integral part of the club, so what I read, I’m sorry to read,” Silvers said in a press conference Wednesday.
“You know, the safety and security of people at our club is paramount.
“(I was saddened to read Bettis’ claim) so I only got him in writing to check in. My plan is to talk to him and Anna more over the weekend.”
When asked directly if Betts responded and what the response was, Silvers said it was a “private conversation.”
“Did he respond? Yes, he did… I’ve gained some confidence and one day I’d like to see Eddie and his family back at our club.
We regret anyone leaving our club without a positive experience.
Richmond’s theme song is said to have been played repeatedly during training sessions. At one point, Betts was roped into a harness and told to fight toward a knife to cut himself free, while camp teachers verbally abused him.
“I was yelled at for the things I told the camp ‘counselors’ about my upbringing. Everyone present heard these things,” Betts wrote in the book.
“I was tired, exhausted and worried about the details shared.
“Another camp-dude jumped on my back and started yelling at me about my mother. I was devastated to hear something so personal come out of his mouth.”
Silvers said the Crows now feel they are moving in a “different direction” under new leadership, which includes himself, new coach Matthew Nix, a new bench and a new footy.
“We’re trying to get past it. This information came out last night. We’ll deal with it, but I think we’re moving in the right direction. We have leadership and a culture of putting others first and I think we can move forward, but we apologize to Eddie and anyone who had a negative experience at camp.” Silvers said.
The chief executive confirmed Bettis’ damning book “in short” at a meeting on Wednesday morning.
And he said he will look into claims Betts’ decision to face the club’s post-camp has led to him being removed from the management team.
“Look, I’ll tell him about that. Today I got some information about the leadership structure that existed at that time. I think we should play with a close lead. I think we have reduced our number from number to four; They were secondary leaders. So we will look at that. This was new information,” admitted Silvers.
We think we are being very clear today. I’m going to Rory Laird’s press conference to say we’re going to talk about this head on, be open, honest and honest and move in a positive direction.
“Clubs are always trying to be better and look at different ways. This was probably not the right move at the time.
Many AFL media identities turned out to support the Homes, including Gary Lyons, Gerard Whaley and Ken Cornes.
Crows legend and former captain, premiership player, Brownlow Medalist and eight-time All-Australian Mark Riccito – who has been the club’s director of football since the camp – Betts hoped the club would “carry on”.