The Sydney Swans have moved swiftly to stand down Elijah Taylor, after the 19-year-old was arrested in Perth on Sunday and charged with aggravated assault.
Taylor was taken into police custody on Sunday afternoon in relation to an alleged incident that occurred earlier that morning. He was subsequently charged with one count of aggravated assault occasioning bodily harm. Taylor is now set to face a Perth Court later this month.
This afternoon, the Swans issued a statement confirming Taylor has been stood down from all official club duties effective immediately, putting not only his future at the club in jeopardy, but casting severe doubt on his future as a professional footballer as a whole.
In a statement, Sydney Swans CEO Tom Harley asserted “We are extremely disappointed to have one of our players in this position. As a result of the serious nature of these charges, coupled with Elijah’s failure to abide by club directives on a number of occasions this year, we have made the decision to stand him down from all club commitments immediately. We will review this position as the situation unfolds.”
“We believe this is the most appropriate course of action giving respect to all involved, and in light of the impending court proceedings. This is a difficult situation and one we will work with relevant experts and authorities to navigate. The club, together with the AFL, will ensure Elijah and those involved receive the appropriate assistance and support,” Harley stated.
The Swans CEO’s statement concluding by reiterating that “our club has very strong values, which include respect, tolerance and a condemnation of violence, especially against women. We expect everyone at our club to uphold these values without compromise.”
Taylor’s ex-partner had previously aired accusations concerning past alleged abuse earlier this month.
The Sydney Swans response to this incident is interesting given other club’s reactions to similar incidents involving criminal charges. Collingwood Football Club player Jordan De Goey was charged with sexual assault in early July, but was allowed to continue playing by the club after missing just one game.
De Goey occupies a vastly more significant spot in the Collingwood team than Elijah Taylor did in the Swans regular playing lineup.
If you, or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence or abuse, you can access free, confidential help, counselling and support 24/7 by contacting 1800RESPECT. If you are in immediate danger, please contact 000.Image: Getty Images / Jono Searle