Rendell racist comment ‘throw-away line’

By Sam Lienert,

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    Ex-Adelaide recruiting manager Matt Rendell says the racist comment which forced his resignation last week was a stupid throw-away line which does not reflect his true opinion.

    Rendell resigned after a comment he made to AFL community engagement manager Jason Mifsud in January became public last week.

    He had told Mifsud that the AFL was heading towards a situation in which the Crows wouldn’t recruit an indigenous player unless he had at least one white parent.

    “I said as a throw-away line, as a ridiculous line, you might find we only recruit players with one white parent if it’s not addressed now,” Rendell told the Nine Network’s Footy Classified.

    “… I’ve never had a policy like that in my life. I wouldn’t have a policy like that, it’s ridiculous, silly. Everyone’s the same.

    “The comment that I made originally was stupidly trying to emphasise the problem that we’ve got at the moment and we need to do something about it quick and the AFL need to get involved in it.”

    Rendell said the comment was a regrettable line in a long conversation with Mifsud on how to combat what he called the “attrition rate” of indigenous footballers being lost to the AFL.

    Rendell said he had put to Mifsud that many indigenous players grew up in communities with fewer rules and regulations than the non-indigenous population and therefore found it tougher to adjust to AFL requirements.

    He then put forward a proposal that the 30 most talented indigenous footballers at under-16 level each year be offered scholarships at schools in cities such as Melbourne or Adelaide and be placed in football programs to prepare them for the AFL.

    Rendell said he used the controversial line to emphasise how urgent he considered the issue.

    He also said he was forced to resign by the Crows, as they would otherwise have sacked him.

    Rendell said he had wanted to instead explain himself at a press conference, but was told by Adelaide chief executive Steven Trigg that it was too late, as “the mud would stick” to the Crows.

    After several hours consideration, Rendell said he realised Trigg was right and resigned.

    He denied comments made earlier on Monday night by AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou that Trigg had offered him the chance to back away from the comment, but he had refused to do so.

    Demetriou, who said the AFL did not orchestrate the resignation and left the matter entirely up to the Crows, said Trigg had advised Rendell to go away for a couple of hours and think about what he said.

    “When he came back he said ‘I don’t resile from what I said,’ so he said ‘I should resign,’ so he resigned,” Demetriou told Fox Footy’s On the Couch.

    But Rendell said that was incorrect.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (4)

    • Roar Guru

      March 20th 2012 @ 8:23am
      The_Wookie said | March 20th 2012 @ 8:23am | ! Report

      Ive upload the entire interview to here:

    • March 20th 2012 @ 11:36am
      Westy said | March 20th 2012 @ 11:36am | ! Report

      Some mate Mifsud turned-out to be. I reckon more mud will stick to Adelaide now than if they had done nothing. Men in suits with no integrity!

    • March 20th 2012 @ 11:43am
      Jaceman said | March 20th 2012 @ 11:43am | ! Report

      Its a you said/he said. IMO If you believe Demetriou on On the Couch that he (rendell) wouldnt back away from his comments, then he should resign , if its as Rendell said then he has been made a scapegoat. Only Trigg can clear the matter up but I feel he may stick with the AFL line..

    • March 21st 2012 @ 10:53am
      Ashley Hornsey said | March 21st 2012 @ 10:53am | ! Report

      Image, Image, image! The AFL’s obsession with protecting its “brand” is stiffling debate and is sure to damage the game in the long term. We have reached the stage where people will only tell the AFL what it wants to hear. The pathetic depths to which the game has reached were on display last week when a Crows player _ celebrating his cricket team’s premiership win at a private function in a country pub _ was reprimanded by his AFL club because he wore boxer shorts. With players now being treated as robots and being muffled to the extent where they can not even voice an opinion, is it little wonder that they have to let off steam away from their clubs. And beleive me, we have not yet seen the worst.

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