Western Bulldogs midfielder Lin Jong has accepted an apology from a Richmond fan who racially abused him during Saturday’s match at the MCG.
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The Tigers fan, whose name is not known, came forward to apologise for comments aimed at Jong during the Bulldogs’ 19-point win.
Jong, who is of East Timorese and Taiwanese heritage, accepted the apology but made in abundantly clear that he believed his actions were unacceptable.
“It takes courage to come out and apologise, and I want to commend the Richmond supporter for doing so,” Jong said in a Bulldogs statement.
“He could have easily remained anonymous, but he chose to come forward and acknowledge his mistake.
“I want him to know that I accept his apology. Doing this enables us all to move on and maybe learn and teach something to make our community a little bit more embracing and accepting of diversity.”
During the same match, a Richmond player helped identify a member of the Bulldogs cheer squad who allegedly made homophobic comments towards Tigers players.
“The club has been made aware of an allegation that a crowd member, believed to be supporting the Western Bulldogs was removed from the MCG yesterday for allegedly making a homophobic slur towards a Richmond player,” a Bulldogs statement read.
The club has a code of conduct established for its members, which prohibits such behaviour and it expects all Western Bulldogs members and fans abide by the principles stated in that code, as a condition of membership.
“The club has sought and is awaiting further information from the AFL in relation to the incident.”
The Bulldogs have begun the season brightly, winning its two season-opening games against West Coast and Richmond.
However, Luke Beveridge’s side take on one of the biggest challenges in AFL football on Sunday when they face reigning premiers Hawthorn in Tasmania.