West Coast say they are dismayed by the way their fans treated Indigenous star Adam Goodes, declaring they will not condone racist behaviour.
Goodes was booed relentlessly by some Eagles fans during Sunday’s win over Sydney at Domain Stadium.
Two fans were ejected in accordance with the venue’s racial vilification complaint policy, with West Coast officials now working with stadium management to investigate the matter further.
Goodes has been a strong advocate for racial equality throughout his glittering career.
But the 2014 Australian of the Year has copped increasing abuse from rival fans in recent times.
West Coast midfielder Matt Priddis has urged football fans around the country to stop booing Goodes.
And the Eagles’ hierarchy are taking a strong stand on the issue, with the club’s Indigenous liaison officer Phil Narkle meeting with Noongar elders on Monday to discuss the controversy.
“We want our fans to support our team, but there are some boundaries that need to be observed,” chief executive Trevor Nisbett said in a statement.
“We cannot and will not condone racist behaviour.
“It was a minority of our fans booing yesterday, but it has happened across the competition for a number of weeks and as an AFL community we have to address this matter.
“I implore all clubs to stop this nonsense.
“It is completely inappropriate and it has to stop.”
In reaction to Sunday’s booing, Swans speedster Lewis Jetta directed a war dance at Eagles fans after kicking a fourth-quarter goal.
When asked whether he thought the booing of Goodes was race related, Priddis said: “I don’t think so.
“It’s been going on a little bit this year. A bit of a copycat sort of thing.
“It’s a bit of a sheep mentality I suppose.
“I think it’s an AFL issue at the moment, not just West Coast fans.
“But I think a level of respect needs to be shown to all players regardless.
“Adam is a great citizen, an AFL great. A two-time Brownlow medallist, and he deserves a lot of respect.”