ABC’s News Breakfast sports presenter Tony Armstrong has slammed suspended Adelaide Crows player Taylor “Tex” Walker for his seemingly staged apology video alongside fellow footballer Robbie Young, to whom he used racial slurs.
Former Adelaide captain Walker was overheard by a Crows employee using racial slurs while talking about Young at a SANFL match on July 17, and was subsequently slapped with a six-match suspension and $20,000 fine.
In the apology video, Walker sits alongside Young, and gives a grim-faced apology to him as Young pats him on the back in support.
“I’m so thankful that you’re here mate, sitting next to me. Thank you for accepting my apology. You’ve shown huge courage and support to me,” Walker says in the video.
“I want to apologise to you and your family. To the Adelaide official and his family. To all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and their communities for the pain, hurt and disappointment I’ve caused.”
“What I’ve said was racism and it’s totally unacceptable,” he continued.
“I’m going to lean on you Robbie, I’m going to lean on the AFL and others around me to support me. Thanks, mate.”
My husband Tony Armstrong, however, is getting pretty sick of apology videos like this, as all of us are. His main gripe here is how Indigenous player Young is the one who has to be supportive to Walker, and take the high road despite being the victim in this situation.
When asked about whether or not the video makes a difference, this was Armstrong’s brilliant response:
“I don’t think it makes too much of a difference. I’ve said this before, it is always on Indigenous people, always taking the high road and always having to extend the olive branch out and be the ones to help and to educate… even then in the wording we heard, Taylor will be the one leaning on Robbie,” he said.
“I’m lucky enough to be friends with a lot of the Indigenous cohort, and our text message friends are absolutely hopping off with support for each other. We’re not saying this is just a Taylor Walker and an Adelaide Crows thing, it just makes us think that this is rife.
“If this is the one that was caught, you think about all the ones that happen when you’re not there.”
You can watch the full vid below here:
Sick of talking about this stuff. https://t.co/ztQhtKDzaZ
— Tony Armstrong (@Tonaaayy_) August 9, 2021
Even though this probably won’t be the last time an awkward, seemingly staged apology like this gets made, let’s hope that we see some actual action and self-education from the perpetrators of racism in the future.
Wishful thinking, though.