Sam Mitchell calls out racist AFL trolls in press conference after Hawthorn Hawks win over Adelaide Crows

Hawthorn coach Sam Mitchell has revealed a racist remark was made to one of his players after his side’s 27-point win over Adelaide on Saturday afternoon.

Mitchell opened his press conference by calling out the racism that comes from social media.

He said he wouldn’t be interested in having a Hawks fan as part of the club if they harbored any form of racism.

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“I’m actually going to start if that’s okay,” Mitchell said at the top of the presser.

“I love football and I love our game and I think the position we have as community leaders – we have to do the best we can about discrimination,” he said.

“We have a few things that I don’t want to get into, but I just want to say that if you have any form of racism in you as a Hawthorne person, we are not interested in you being a part of the club.

“While we all enjoy a fantastic win and we should all enjoy it, unfortunately some parts of our Hawthorn family cannot enjoy it because of what the heroes on their keyboards think they are capable of doing.

“And none of those who ever wear brown and gold, we want you.

“I’m sorry to start with a melancholic tone, but I think it’s important to join the voices that stand up against racism and smearing.”

When asked specifically if the player was slighted, Mitchell said: “I don’t want to go into details, but you’re on the field.

It comes after a dominant display from the Hawks, who claimed their first win of the season at the MCG in front of 36,086 fans.

Mitchell felt it was important to join voices calling for an end to racism, including Eddie Betts, who he noted had recently released a video about the cause.

Mitchell also said he spoke with the players involved in the situation after the game and made the decision to expose the influential actions of social media.

“Before I came, I spoke to some of the people involved and said, ‘do you want me to (speak publicly) about this’? Because I only want to help people who are affected by it. And when they are hurt, I can support them in any way I can.

“I get the power of a press conference: ‘Do you want me to support this, or is it going to make it worse?’ And the comment was, ‘I think we need to show as much support as possible.’ So I decided to do it.

“I don’t want to rush the whole press conference, but I thought it was important to add my voice at a time when I have people who should be celebrating — well, they’re still celebrating, but they’ve got a black dog following them around, if you will.

Mitchell did not go into detail about the individual involved, but noted that it was “absolutely ridiculous.”

“It’s tough as a coach because … you see how much effort goes into every single thing these guys do on the field … every player that plays leaves a big part of their life in football terms and it’s called out the way they look makes it just, honestly – grow up. This is absolutely ridiculous,” he said.

— NCA NewsWire

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