The AFL has been shamed for its lackluster response to Eddie Betts’ damning revelations about the infamous 2018 Adelaide Crows pre-season training camp, which has been branded a ‘miserable failure’.
Betts pushed the controversial side – which followed Adelaide’s big 2017 loss to Richmond – back into the spotlight on Tuesday night, detailing behind the scenes information about it in his next autobiography Boomerang Crescent Boy.
Confidential information All-Australian alleged three times shared in counseling sessions had been misused, writing that the camp had appropriated sensitive Aboriginal cultural rituals.
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After the ordeal, Betts said he approached the Crows and expressed concerns about the camp, before being dropped from the leadership group three weeks later.
Six players requested a trade from Adelaide between 2018 and 2020, while four additional free agents left the club after camp.
Speaking to Fox Footy’s AFL 360 On Wednesday, Betts claimed those running the camp told them not to tell anyone.
“We weren’t even allowed to tell our teammates. To this day our teammates don’t even know what we did in our group… that’s how we feel very divided and the club kinda fell apart from that point,” he explained.
“I could see we were all hurting and we tried to make changes at that time. But it was like you couldn’t talk and you couldn’t say everything.”
Initial investigations into the damn camp were given the green light by the AFL’s Integrity Unit and SafeWork SA.
The AFL Players Association will now open a new investigation into the camp, ready to contact all Adelaide players to seek a “better understanding” of what happened during the trip. However, the AFL and SafeWork SA confirmed on Wednesday that they would not reopen investigations into the camp.
Adelaide chief executive Tim Silvers apologized to Betts at a press conference on Wednesday.
“Anyone who leaves our club without having a positive experience, we are sorry,” he told reporters.
“I think we can move on, but we would like to say sorry to Eddie and everyone who had a negative experience throughout camp.”
Speaking on Channel 9 Footy Rankedveteran journalist Caroline Wilson criticized the AFL and WorkSafe SA for failing to take substantial action after their initial investigation.
“It required discipline and punishment,” she said Wednesday night.
“The AFL tells me today that they broke no rules. What about bringing the game into disrepute or engaging in unbecoming conduct?
“What we heard from Eddie Betts is surely discrediting the game?
“How could they not act? I know they put measures in place, but it wasn’t enough for me.
“They knew all this and they did nothing.”
Adelaide board member Mark Ricciuto, who represented the club for 15 seasons, also faced backlash for his response to Betts’ damning allegations on Wednesday morning.
“Player welfare is always number one no matter what,” I told Adelaide Triple M breakfast with Roo, Ditts and Loz.
“You always want everyone to be happy and all that. It’s very sad that Eddie wrote that, and I think the club has at times said publicly that they have acknowledged that it hasn’t been handled perfectly. .
“There were good intentions, but it didn’t go perfectly. They recognized that.
Wilson blasted those comments on Footy Ranked“It’s obviously devastating, what Mark Ricciuto is saying is so inaccurate.
“(They say) ‘we’ve moved on as a club’, they never moved on from that. The AFL will tell you that’s part of the problem.
“How can you describe some of these revelations as not being perfect? They are horrible.
Meanwhile, SEN broadcaster Gerard Whateley called the AFL statement a ‘dismal failure’.
“It took 28 words to acknowledge the injury Eddie Betts suffered. And 177 words of pathetic self-justification for all the good the league has done and no one has put their name to it. No sorrow, no regrets , no commitment to action,” I said.
“Reading between the lines, you would guess the AFL lives in fear of class action from players who have been abused.”
Wilson also called AFLPA chief executive Paul Marsh, saying she had urged him to investigate the Crows camp several times to no avail.
“I spoke to Paul Marsh countless times… I called him many times over an 18-month period,” she said.
“How can he say he didn’t know (of the details revealed by Betts’ book)? I’m shocked by that more than anything.
“Then I file it with other allegations, terrible allegations from other players.
“How can he say that now…they (AFLPA) get paid a lot of money, surely their investigative resources are better than that.”
Ages Sam McClure continued on 3AW sports day“Paul Marsh’s statement, to put it bluntly, is convenient.
“The AFL and the AFL Players Association had access to all the information that journalists reporting things had access to. All they had to do was pick up the phone and have a private conversation. .
“They are now saying this is all new information and they will go back and re-investigate – I’m sorry it’s too little too late for me.”
Marsh confirmed that the AFLPA first became aware of the Crows camp’s problems following media reports, but pointed out that the players initially told the union “there was nothing they could do. “.
“It’s not that we haven’t had conversations — and I’m certainly not saying we didn’t know there was a level of angst about it,” he said. No breakfast Thursday morning.
“I’m open to the view of some that we could have tried harder, so I’m not saying everything that could have been done was done. But we certainly tried to get to the bottom of what happened with the players – and I don’t feel like we did.
“I think players have been silent on this issue for reasons of fear and some players have had good experiences, so we understand some of the reasons why this has happened. But it has made this question quite difficult.
“Perhaps Eddie having now spoken about it, it might allow other players to want to talk about it.”
Meanwhile, Geelong Cats champion Patrick Dangerfield, who is currently president of the AFLPA, said it would have been difficult for the union to take immediate action due to the circumstances at the time.
“We have abandoned the information that was given to us at the time. And very clearly it’s difficult to articulate that, I think, for the players who were around when they were still playing for Adelaide. So, as much as we could and as best we could, we got the relevant information,” Dangerfield said. sports day.
“If we had known all the information from the start, I clearly think a more immediate reaction would have taken place. But that was not the case.
“I don’t necessarily agree with the fact that we haven’t done anything. I think we’ve exhausted a lot of our resources on how we could support the players, but at the same time you need that open and fluid communication between the two – and that was a challenge.
“The details described by Eddie Betts in his new book about the 2018 Adelaide Crows training camp are extremely concerning and difficult to read. We commend Eddie for the courage he has shown in telling this story and we are troubled by the continued injury to Eddie and his family.
Much of the information detailed in Eddie’s book on the camp is new information to the AFLPA and we are extremely concerned about this information on three levels. First, the lack of psychological safety afforded to the entire gaming group, second, the cultural appropriation of Indigenous artifacts, and third, the deliberate collection of confidential player information for the purpose of detrimental abuse of these informations.
As some details of the camp began to emerge, the AFLPA spoke to a number of Adelaide players about the camp. What we think now is clear from our discussions with these players and the information in Eddie’s book is that the players felt compelled to keep quiet about camp details.
Based on the new information that has emerged, the AFLPA will contact all Adelaide players from 2018 to seek a better understanding of the details of the camp and any individual issues that may arise.
“The AFL recognizes the injury suffered by Eddie Betts, his family, his community and by extension all Indigenous players following the Adelaide Crows pre-season camp in 2018.
The 2018 AFL investigation into the Adelaide Crows camp concluded there were shortcomings in the way the football club identified, implemented and managed the pre-season scheme, but it was ultimately determined that there was no violation of industry rules. As a result of the investigation, the AFL made recommendations (which were adopted) on improving governance and compliance in relation to the protection of players, officials and club staff, including including additional investment in the Adelaide Crows Integrity Zone. In addition, the investigation led to the introduction of an AFL-agreed approval process prior to any camp or club pre-season activity involving an external supplier.
Additionally, over the past 15 months, the AFL CEO has had regular conversations with a group of senior Indigenous players who provide a sounding board for key industry and club decisions impacting our native players. One of the most important results of the regular dialogue with the group has been the mandatory introduction of Indigenous Player Development Officers at all 18 clubs to provide cultural guidance and support to players.
Originally published as ‘How can he say that…’: Caroline Wilson slams Ricciuto, AFL bosses over Eddie Betts’ responses