‘This Will Stick With Them’: Eddie Betts Speaks Out About Racial Abuse Shouted At His Kids

CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses racism.

Legendary AFL player Eddie Betts has shared harrowing footage of a passer-by in a car shouting the N-word at his children while they played basketball in the front yard of their family home in Melbourne. Betts has since spoken out about the racial abuse, saying it ” hits a lot harder” than other instances of racism he’s unfortunately experienced.

Appearing on the Fox Footy program to debrief on the horrific incident, Betts told the panel that it was a “tough start to the weekend.”

“To see that someone actually got out of their car at 8:40 at night, to drive to my house and yell abuse at my kids over the fence,” said Betts.

“I think this hits a lot harder than all the racial abuse that I’ve had over my years (in footy) and that’s because it’s directed towards my kids with such hatred.”

Though they were “shaken up” at the time, the AFL legend confirmed that his kids are okay now, and that he is glad he was able to bring awareness to the incident.

“This continues to happen to Aboriginal people all over the country and we’ve just gotta keep calling it out,” he told the panel.

Despite how “exhausting” Betts said it is to constantly be forced to educate Australia on the high prevalance and devastating effects of racism, he said he’s not going to stop trying to “stamp out racism in Australia.”

“And I just want you to know that people who have done this, and have drove past my house to yell abuse at my kids, that it is hurtful,” he said emotionally.

“And this will stick with them for the rest of their lives. And the rest of my life.”

In the appalling video captured by Betts’ home security cameras, two angles of the incident can be seen where a white vehicle slowly passed the home, before a man loudly screamed the N-word four times at the children.

Occurring at around 8.30pm on Thursday night, Victorian Police confirmed they have launched an investigation into the matter, and will try to locate the individual who shouted the slurs.

The uncensored footage (which can be found here) was shared by Betts to his Instagram page in an attempt to identify the unknown racist harasser.

Source: Instagram.

“Aboriginal kids deserve to be able to play safely, free from racism and abuse over the fence,” wrote Betts on the post.

“We are not even safe in our own homes. If you know who this is please let them know that I’m open to having a chat about how much this hurts our kids.”

It has since received over 24K likes, and thousands of comments in support of Betts and his family as they respond to this traumatic event.

Source: Instagram.

“I too would like a chat with them,” wrote musician, comedian, and Indigenous advocate Adam Briggs.

“Wow bro. Disgusting. Your compassion and patience are on a superhero level. Love you,” comedian Nazeem Hussain commented.

Throughout his 16-year career as an AFL player, Eddie Betts battled racism in many forms, including having a banana thrown at him by a spectator at once match.

(Photo by Morne de Klerk/Getty Images)

In response to the racist abuse, AFL CEO Andrew Dillon and Indigenous Australian social activist Tanya Hosch released a joint statement to offer support for the Betts family, and condemn racism.

“Once again we find ourselves in a position where we must express our strongest condemnation against another example of overt racism, this time targeting children playing sport in their own front yard,” said Dillon and Hosch’s statement.

“We acknowledge the leadership of Eddie Betts for bringing this to national attention. Racism is wrong. Racism is harmful. Racism requires a response. The AFL takes this opportunity to remind everyone at all levels of the game, that racist behaviour is never welcome. Anywhere.”

Police have asked for anyone with information to come forward.