Lions star Callum Ah Chee has made an embattled plea after copping racist abuse online following Patrick Cripps’ acquittal for their clash on Sunday afternoon.
Ah Chee was concussed in the violent hit from the Carlton skipper in the second quarter of the Lions’ win over the Blues. The AFL’s concussion protocols had already ruled him out of Friday’s clash against St Kilda.
On Thursday night, Cripps was cleared in a marathon appeals hearing of a two-game rough conduct charge for the hit – a decision Kangaroos great David King labelled “staggering”.
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In posting the screenshots of the abuse to his account on Friday morning, Ah Chee said the comments were “not something you want to wake up to in the morning”.
“How can this still keep happening? Why can’t my brothers and I just play the game we love without having to worry about shit like this,” he said.
“If my son grows up playing the game, I hope he doesn’t have to deal with this hate.
“It hurts and I’m sick to death of seeing it.”
The Lions have also reported the abuse to the AFL’s integrity unit. In their own statement, the Lions said they “strongly condemned” the comments.
Callum Ah Chee of the Lions celebrates a goal during the round 19 AFL match between the Brisbane Lions and the Gold Coast Suns at The Gabba on July 23, 2022 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/AFL Photos/Getty Images) (Getty)
“It’s disgusting behaviour and we must, and we will, continue to call it out. There is no place for racism in sport, or in society full stop,” the statement read.
“The Brisbane Lions celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and the incredible contribution Indigenous players have made to our club and to our great game.
“It’s disappointing to have to do so, but in moments like this we take the approach as a footy club to urge people to educate themselves about the harmful impacts of racially motivated comments and online abuse.”
With two rounds to play, the Lions are currently locked in a tight battle for a spot in the top-four with Collingwood, Melbourne, Sydney and Fremantle.
They take on St Kilda on Friday, and then Melbourne in a blockbuster at the MCG next Friday night.
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