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Finlayson's wife blasts 'incredibly embarrassing' reporting on husband's response to homophobic slur ban

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17th April, 2024
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Port Adelaide forward Jeremy Finlayson says he’s ‘pissed off’ at himself for making a homophobic slur, not the AFL for suspending him.

Finlayson, banned three games by the AFL, says his comments on his wife’s podcast have been misconstrued.

“I said “(It) pissed me off that I got a three-week suspension, that’s it, that’s tipped me over the edge. We’ll leave it there and (at) that’,” he said in a club statement on Wednesday.

“When re-thinking my comments today, it’s clear that I should have provided more context.

“On reflection, I should have explained that I was bitterly disappointed that I said what I did during the game.

“And I am bitterly disappointed that I put myself and the club in the position I did.

“That is what I am most upset with.

“What I said on the field that night was totally unacceptable. I knew that at the time and I know it now.


“I stress, I have no issue with the sanction at all.”

Finlayson is serving his ban over the in-game incident which happened during Port’s win over Essendon in round four.

The 28-year-old apologised multiple times over the incident before he was handed his penalty last week.

He addressed the sanction on his wife Kellie Finlayson’s podcast, Sh!t Talkers, released on Tuesday.

Finlayson was speaking during a regular segment on the podcast in which hosts and guests highlight their “good, bad and offensive” talking points for the week.

“My ‘offensive’ is it pissed me off that I got a three-week suspension,” Finlayson told the podcast.


“That’s it. That’s tipped me over the edge. That’s about it. We’ll leave it there and (at) that and move on.”

In response, the AFL said they were ‘disappointed’ in Finalyson’s comments and reinforced their position that there is no place for homophobic language in the game or anywhere.

“There’s no place for that in our game,” a league statement released to Fox Footy reads.

However, Mrs Finlayson took issue with South Australian media outlet The Advertiser‘s reporting on his comments, describing it as ‘incredibly embarrassing’ in a series of since-deleted posts on X.

“The fact that this is the grab that you’ve taken from such a powerful podcast episode highlighting the daily struggles that a man has gone through while still showing up to perform for the incredibly [sic] AFL community and playing the game he loves is incredibly embarrassing,” she wrote.

“You had the chance to highlight the incredible man that he is, the unbelievable devastating few years he’s lived and you chose to beat him up and tear him down after only weeks ago reporting on the affects the media has on these boys’ mental health.

“Reality check, you’re part of the problem.”


Earlier this week, AFL Commission chair Richard Goyder defended the league’s decision to suspend Finlayson.

Goyder’s position came amid ongoing debate surrounding the discrepancy between Finlayson’s penalty and that handed to North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson.

In March, Clarkson was fined $20,000 and given a suspended two-match ban for a similar slur at St Kilda pair Dougal Howard and Jimmy Webster during a trial game.

The discrepancy sparked strong criticism, in particular from the AFL Players Association (AFLPA) which last week accused the league of double standards.

Port Adelaide chairman David Koch said he looked forward to the league “applying consistency to such cases in the future”, while AFLPA boss Paul Marsh called for an “urgent review of the AFL’s sanctioning framework”.

“The AFL is consistently inconsistent and there are double standards in its approach to dealing with players compared to others on behavioural matters,” Marsh said last week.


“If this type of conduct is a three-week sanction for a player, it should be for everyone involved in the game.

“This should be clear to everyone in the industry up-front, rather than the open-ended approach that is currently in place.”

Goyder took a different view of the differences in the sanctions handed to Finlayson and Clarkson.

“I don’t think there’s a difference in the sense that the AFL has taken a very strong stance on that issue – and that stance is the most important thing,” Goyder said on Monday.

“Both penalties were a very strong signal from the AFL that there’s no place in our game for those sort of actions.”