Port Adelaide’s Jeremy Finlayson ‘p***ed off’ by suspension for homophobic slur

Port Adelaide’s Jeremy Finlayson says he’s “p***ed off” he copped a three-game suspension for a homophobic slur.

Finlayson made the slur during Port Adelaide’s win over Essendon at Gather Round in Adelaide.

The Power forward self-reported the comment and apologised in a video released by Port Adelaide.

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After being handed the ban, Finlayson conceded again his behaviour was unacceptable.

“The word I used has no place in our society or our game,” Finlayson said at the time.

“Words can be very hurtful and what I said on Friday night was totally unacceptable.

“I unreservedly apologise again to the Essendon player, my teammates, Port Adelaide members and supporters and the LGBTQIA+ community for the distress I have caused.

“I accept the AFL’s sanction and now look forward to reflecting on my behaviour and seeking education to improve myself and understand the impact such comments can have on the broader community.”

But Finlayson, appearing on the Sh!t Talkers podcast with his wife Kellie, revealed he was less than happy with the suspension during a segment about “good, bad and offensive” talking points for the week.

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

“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.”

Finlayson’s comments have now between removed from the podcast episode.

On Tuesday, Port Adelaide released a statement on behalf Finlayson in relation to his comments on the podcast.

“I made some comments on my wife Kellie’s Sh!t Talkers podcast yesterday that I need to address,” the statement said.

“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.”

“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.”

The 28-year-old will be required to attend training over the incident, which will be paid for out of his own pocket. He did not cop a monetary fine.

The AFL issued a statement noting the punishment and the training the Power forward will be required to undertake.

“The AFL wishes to advise that Port Adelaide player Jeremy Finlayson has been found guilty of breaching AFL Rule 2.3(a) (Conduct Unbecoming) in relation to an incident during the third quarter of Friday’s nights match against Essendon,” the statement read.

“Finlayson used an unprompted and highly offensive homophobic slur against an Essendon opponent, which demeans and denigrates persons regardless of their sexuality.

“Finlayson has received a three-match suspension and is required to attend appropriate Pride in Sport training as approved by the AFL in which Finlayson will pay for personally.

'The accusation is double standards' - AFL defend Finlayson suspension

“He will not be eligible to play for Port Adelaide during Round 5, 6 and 7, including playing in the SANFL.

“In determining the sanction, the AFL took into account Finlayson’s immediate apology and contrition, both privately on the night, publicly the next day and again on Monday. To be clear, without the full and frank admissions, apologies and contrition that Finlayson showed, the sanction would have included a longer suspension.”

AFL General Counsel Stephen Meade said Finlayson knows the slur he used was unacceptable and had accepted the punishment handed down.

“Everyone, including Jeremy understands the word he used is both hurtful and totally unacceptable in any setting, ever,” he said.

“The AFL is very clear that homophobia has no place in our game, nor in society. We want all people in LGBTQI+ communities to feel safe playing or attending our games and we know the incident that happened on the weekend does not assist this goal. As a code we will continue to work together to improve our game as a safe and inclusive environment for all.

“The AFL will continue to consider the specific circumstances in each incident in determining appropriate responses. Jeremy’s sanction would have been higher if he didn’t immediately understand and take ownership of his mistake both privately and publicly.”

Finlayson enjoyed a career best season last year after moving to Port Adelaide from GWS.

He missed Port’s win over Fremantle and will miss matches against Collingwood and St Kilda. He will be available for selection for the Showdown against the Adelaide Crows in Round 8.

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