A football coach in an Indigenous country has resigned in protest at a “disappointing” on-field incident in which racist slurs were directed at an Aboriginal player.
- A country soccer coach in WA has quit in protest at a racial slur against an Indigenous player
- The club involved in the scandal was fined $200
- South Bunbury Football Club ‘reluctantly’ accepts resignation
Maxwell Jetta, cousin of former AFL players Lewis Jetta and Neville Jetta, has stepped down as coach in Western Australia’s prestigious South West Football League to take a stand against racism in sport.
It comes after his club, South Bunbury Football Club, was fined $200 on May 14 for a racist taunt by one of its players towards Carey Park forward Hayden Yarran.
Mr Jetta had coached the South Bunbury women’s team to three premierships.
“This decision was really about myself as a community member, an Aboriginal person, a family man and also a mentor,” Mr Jetta said.
He reiterated Yarran’s calls for more to be done to eradicate racism in the league.
“We should be doing more, not just as football clubs, just as community members, but everyone in general everywhere, you know racism is out there as you can see.
“I think we can do better as people.”
Mr Jetta said he wanted the player who abused Yarran during the game to come forward.
He said it was disappointing that racism was still rampant in the sporting years after the likes of AFL star Adam Goodes took a stand against it nationally.
“It’s disappointing … we’re in 2022,” he said.
“Are we going to keep doing the same thing until it’s all swept under the rug?
The Jetta family has a long history of fighting racism across Australia.
Former West Coast Eagles player Lewis Jetta publicly supported Adam Goodes in calls for traditional Indigenous dances at AFL games.
Club accepts resignation ‘reluctantly’
In a statement, South Bunbury Football Club said it respected Mr Jetta’s decision to resign but did not recognize the reason for his resignation.
“South Bunbury Football Club has reluctantly accepted the resignation of Max Jetta as coach of our women’s football team for personal reasons,” a spokesman said.
“On the field, Max has a remarkable triple Premiership success, he has been a fantastic leader off the field and has become a great friend and mentor to so many.”
In an earlier statement, the club apologized for the incident and vowed to promote cultural education and awareness among all its players, members and supporters.
Hayden Yarran, the Noongar player who reported the incident against him, said he had dealt with racism his entire life and more than once during his time as a footballer.
“Growing up, I dealt with racism a lot,” he said.
“It was fairly regular as a kid and as a teenager, not much during my adulthood – there were only two occasions when I had to deal with it and they were both on the football field.”
Yarran had called for immediate penalties for racist abuse.
Additional reporting by Zoe Keenan and Dominique Bayens