AFL: Jeremy Finlayson to face ‘accountability’ for homophobic slur

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AFL boss Andrew Dillon says “there’ll be an accountability” for Port Adelaide player Jeremy Finlayson after he directed a homophic slur at an opponent during Gather Round.

Dillon said a league investigation into Finlayson’s offensive remark at an Essendon player was ongoing and a decision on how to penalise the 28-year-old could be left until Thursday.

The Power forward’s comment was picked up by an umpire’s microphone during the Friday night clash at Adelaide Oval, with Finlayson reportedly telling club officials about the incident at three-quarter time.

He issued a public apology on Sunday, saying he was “very remorseful” and took “full responsibility” for using the slur.

“I addressed it at the time and … let everyone know what happened, and it’s now in the hands of the AFL to investigate,” Finlayson said.

“I’m continuing to reflect and improve myself, getting all the education I can to make myself better.”

Dillon said Finlayson’s transgression would be treated in isolation after North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson was handed a $20,000 fine and a suspended two-match ban for a homophobic slur directed at St Kilda players during a pre-season game last month.

It comes after Port Adelaide president David Koch drew ire on Sunday for suggesting Finlayson should receive the same penalty when he appeared on ABC’s Offsiders.

“Absolutely no excuse, not condoning it whatever, and should not be part of the game, but if you’re going to look at a comparison, that would be the benchmark there,” Koch said.

“We take them all really seriously and I don’t think you can compare and contrast. But all of them are different, we don’t like them and that’s why we’re looking into it and that’s why there’ll be an accountability,” Dillon said on Monday.

“There will be an accountability for Jeremy at the end of that investigation. The timeline on it is it will be done before the next round of matches.

“I don’t think there’s any place for that anywhere, let alone the league.”

Port Adelaide will play Fremantle at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday night before travelling to Melbourne to face Collingwood at the MCG.

Dillon said the decision whether to suspend Finlayson would ultimately rest with AFL football boss Laura Kane and general counsel Stephen Meade.

“We take this really seriously and I would prefer to run a proper investigation and a proper process to get to the right outcome,” Dillon said.

“We’ve got really extensive rules and regulations that deal with that and ultimately it’s a call for our head of football and our general counsel, and they’ll make that when they’ve got all the information in front of them.”

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