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AFL player cops five match suspension for using a homophobic slur

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The AFL has handed Gold Coast Suns defende player Wil Powell a five match ban after he used a homophobic slur.
AFL player Wil Powell has been given a five match ban after he used a homophobic slur.

AFL player Wil Powell has been handed a five-game suspension for using a homophobic slur against an opponent.

The Gold Coast Suns player was heard using derogatory language during his side’s loss to the Brisbane Lions on Sunday.

It’s the third incident relating to homophobia in the AFL this year.

AFL General Counsel Stephen Meade said: “There are no excuses for this conduct in our game.”

What happened?

A statement from the AFL said Powell was handed a five-game suspension for using a “highly offensive homophobic slur” against an unnamed Lions player.

It means he won’t appear in an AFL game until 23 June.

The incident comes after a Port Adelaide player was suspended for using a homophobic slur last month.

The AFL said it was “extremely” disappointed “to be dealing with a similar incident in only a matter of weeks.”

Response

Gold Coast Suns CEO Mark Evans said Powell’s comments were “completely unacceptable” and the club would provide “guidance and education”.

Powell has accepted the ban and said he apologised to the Lions player during and after the match.

Other incidents

Port Adelaide player Jeremy Finlayson was handed a three-match suspension for using a homophobic slur against an Essendon player last month.

Finlayson was also ordered to attend ‘Pride in Sport’ inclusivity training.

North Melbourne coach Alistair Clarkson received a $20,000 fine following an incident at a clash against St Kilda this year, where he used homophobic language.

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