Eddie Betts has revealed he was silenced by the Adelaide Crows in 2016 after receiving a racist letter during Sig Dog Nicholls Round Week in shocking new revelations in his autobiography.
The 350-game legend has released his book for Carlton and Adelaide this week, with details of the Crows’ now highly publicized 2018 pre-season camp making headlines – with Adelaide and the AFL both apologizing.
Betts has revealed the racism he faced during his career, including a letter sent by the club six years ago.
Watch every blockbuster AFL match this weekend with ad-free in-game streaming on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
“(The letter) contained a photo of my best friend Jarryd Lyon on the training track at Adelaide Oval,” Betts wrote.
“In big black text above my head he had written the word ‘A** F****T’.
“After opening it, I sat speechless for a moment. Then I was like, ‘Yeah – again. Here again.’
At the time, Beats was set to give a press conference on behalf of the Crows after training at 11am, but called a meeting with club bosses at 9am.
However, the native star revealed that he was told to keep quiet on the issue.
“I didn’t feel like I could mention the letter without at least telling the club what I wanted to do. When we walked into the meeting with the club, I was immediately looking at white faces,” Betts said.
“I knew they wouldn’t fully understand what I wanted to show them – how things like this cut into me, and especially the effect of the word ‘a**’.
I said to the club: ‘Listen, I really want to take this paper to this press conference and when the reporters ask me why the AFL has an Indigenous round, I want to say ‘this is why’.
“I wanted to catch up and maybe just leave – I left the paper at the press conference.
“Then the representatives of the club spoke and Anna (his wife) and I listened to them… These days, I do it without telling them, because they talk us into not saying anything.
“On reflection they were trying to minimize any kind of media circus before my game, but maybe that was more important than the game?”
It comes amid renewed focus this week, with a number of Crows players expressing interest in pursuing class action against the AFL and their former club following the collapse of the 2018 pre-season camp.
Era Adelaide lawyer Greg Griffin reported on Thursday night that he had been in contact with former players for the past 24 hours and before.
“The recent days have not diminished the interest of various players,” Griffin said.
“I have spoken to a number of players in the last 24 hours. I think the release of Eddie’s book reinforced the feelings of the players involved in the camp.