Taylor Walker breaks silence to the media after racism row
Former Adelaide Crows captain Taylor Walker was profusely apologetic to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as he spoke to the media for the first time since copping a six-game ban for a racial slur.
Walker was in attendance at an SANFL game between the Crows and North Adelaide when he directed a slur towards North Adelaide’s Robbie Young.
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An Adelaide Crows official overheard Walker’s comment and reported the incident to the club, who then reported it to the AFL.
The incident was then investigated by the AFL Integrity Unit, and after a conciliation between Walker, Young, the Adelaide Crows official and the AFL, the decision was made to suspend Walker for the remainder of the 2021 season as well as the opening three games of the 2022 season.
Speaking to the media for the first time, Walker apologised and declared he will do whatever it takes to educate himself further on why his slur was hurtful.
“I’d just like to say a huge sorry to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people for the pain and hurt I’ve caused,” Walker said.
“It’s been tough for everyone involved. I’m just so remorseful for everything I’ve said.
“I’ve got great relationships with some Indigenous people and I’ve apologised.
“For me now, I want to be judged from what I do from here on.”
One Indigenous AFL player Walker has a relationship is the recently retired Eddie Betts.
Betts and Walker enjoyed a spell together at the Crows, and the latter noted just how much damage he has caused to Betts and the wider Indigenous community.
“I’ve got some work to do,” Walker said.
“I’ve hurt him (Betts), his family and the rest of the Indigenous community, so I have to fix that.
“I’m ashamed that what I’ve done has caused so much pain.
“It’s now up to me to repair the relationship and reconcile and get some more education for myself, because clearly I’m not at that level.”
Walker first apologised in a staged video posted to the Crows’ website, where he appeared alongside Robbie Young.
In the clip, Walker said he would “lean on” Young and the AFL to support him, but the 31-year-old AFL star came in for criticism as he didn’t face the media until today.
It was a choice made by Walker, who stated: “At the time, I thought it was the best decision.”
The veteran forward was coy on his playing future with the Crows as well.
“I’m not here to talk about my future,” Walker said.
“Playing is not my priority at the moment.
“Repairing the relationships with the people I hurt is my main priority.”
Walker’s comments come after Crows CEO Tim Silver said there were no reassurances regarding the future of the player with the South Australian side.
“It’s too early to guarantee that (Walker will stay), but he is contracted and we’ve got to work through a number of different people,” Silvers told SEN.
“(The) culture of our footy club is first and foremost, and we need to get that right and then look at reintegrating Taylor back into the club when the time is right.”
Originally published as Taylor Walker breaks silence to the media after racism row
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