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'Abhorrent and disgusting': Collingwood condemn racist trolls over cowardly Rioli abuse

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23rd July, 2023
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Collingwood have condemned “abhorrent and disgusting” racist messages sent to Port Adelaide forward Willie Rioli after round 19’s thrilling contest between the two clubs.

The Magpies won by two points at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night to surge two games clear on top of the AFL ladder.

Rioli kicked one goal from 11 disposals and is set to face scrutiny from the league’s match review officer over an off-the-ball blow to opponent Nathan Murphy.

After the match, Rioli was subjected to racist abuse online. The 28-year-old shared screenshots of multiple messages that were sent to him, highlighting the abuse with the caption “smart guys”.

Collingwood addressed the matter in the early hours of Sunday morning.

“The Collingwood Football Club strongly condemns the abhorrent and disgusting racist remarks directed towards Willie Rioli,” Magpies CEO Craig Kelly said in a statement.

“There is no room for racism in our game and we will not tolerate it – not on the field, off the field or online.


“All of us have a responsibility to call out this behaviour and our Club is committed to playing a role in educating as many members of the wider community as possible.

“We stand alongside all First Nations players, staff and supporters.”

Collingwood has been in contact with the AFL integrity unit and Port Adelaide over the racist messages.

The AFL has been contacted for comment and is working to gather more information.

Rioli was also the subject of racist abuse following Port Adelaide’s win over Essendon in round eight.

Willie Rioli.

Willie Rioli. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

The Power forward was involved in an off-the-ball incident that left Bombers defender Jordan Ridley concussed during that match, and was later handed a two-match suspension for striking.


Rioli, who has kicked 17 goals in 13 matches this season, returned to the Port Adelaide side against Collingwood after a week off to mark the one-year anniversary of his father’s death.

Rioli’s high contact with Murphy on Saturday did not appear overly forceful, though the Magpies defender went to ground in the incident.

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley did not believe Rioli’s actions warranted suspension.

“Nothing in it, surely, I looked at it,” Hinkley said post-match.

“It is a hand slipping up, an open hand.

“I always say (the MRO) will take care of it and if it needs to be looked at they will.


“But I have seen that one … I’ve seen a lot worse.”