AFL star a no-show at training amid racism storm

Former Adelaide Crows captain Taylor Walker was absent from his side’s training session this morning as an investigation by the AFL integrity unit over alleged racial slurs made by Walker continues.

The alleged incident occurred during a SANFL game between the Crows and North Adelaide Roosters at Prospect Oval on July 17, with Walker in attendance.

The 31-year-old allegedly made remarks about the Roosters’ Robbie Young, a Ngarrandjeri man, during a quarter-time huddle.

Crows assistant Nathan van Berlo confirmed Walker had indeed been given the morning off by the club, but remained coy on further updates regarding the key forward’s absence.

“I understand there’s a really high level of interest in the football club at the moment,” said van Berlo.

Taylor Walker is under investigation over an alleged racial slur. Picture: Mark Brake / Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

“But I hope you can understand and appreciate that I’m not in a position to make any comment this morning due to the fact it is a highly sensitive and highly confidential matter at the time being.

“We had a discussion as a group, but we’re not going to go into details at this stage.”

When quizzed if Walker would address the squad as a whole about the incident, van Berlo simply responded: “We’ll see how that one plays out.”

As the league’s investigation continues, it is unable to comment specifically on whether the incident has been filed as a complaint due to the Peek Rule.

Crows assistant Nathan van Berlo confirmed Walker was given the morning off from training. Picture: Morgan Hancock / Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

The Peek Rule says: “No person subject to the Rules and Regulations shall act towards or speak to any other person in a manner, or engage in any other conduct which threatens, disparages, vilifies or insults another person (”the person vilified”) on any basis, including but not limited to, a person’s race, religion, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity.”

The investigation comes at an inopportune time for the Crows, as they prepare to face Port Adelaide in the Showdown at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.

Walker has been in sublime form for the Crows this season, kicking 48 goals in 17 games. He is also the club’s all-time leading goalkicker, and was club captain for four seasons before stepping down in 2019.

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