The fallout to Eddie Betts’ damning revelations from the infamous Adelaide Crows training camp continues with a new investigation set to be launched.
Betts’ stunning revelations thrust the Crows’ camp back into the spotlight on Tuesday night with the AFL community reacting with disgust.
Watch every blockbuster AFL match this weekend Live & Ad-Break Free In-Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
Betts detailed behind-the-scenes information on the Crows’ leadership camp, following their Grand Final loss to Richmond, in his upcoming autobiography The Boy from Boomerang Crescent.
The four-day camp on the Gold Coast left Betts feeling “like a piece of me was brainwashed”, with excerpts being reported by Nine Newspapers.
AFL Players’ Association president Patrick Dangerfield, a former Adelaide Crow star, spoke about the revelations as the AFLPA and AFL issued statements on Tuesday afternoon.
“It’s really concerning,” Dangerfield told SEN’s Sportsday.
“I know ‘Ed’ and have known him for a really long period of time, but I’ve never really sat down and gone through blow by blow his experience at the camp.
“Reading some of what went on – it’s sickening really.”
Dangerfield defended the original AFLPA investigation into the camp, stating had all the information been known it would have gone differently.
“Had we known all of the information, from the outset, I think, clearly, a more immediate reaction would have taken place,” Dangerfield told 3AW.
“But that wasn’t the case.”
Investigations into the damning camp received the all clear from the AFL’s integrity unit and SafeWork SA.
The AFLPA will now open a fresh investigation into the camp with the Players’ Association set to contact all Adelaide players from 2018 after Betts’ explosive claims detailed in his autobiography were reportedly not disclosed in 2018.
The AFL and SafeWork SA confirmed on Wednesday they would not re-open investigations into the camp.
Betts spoke about his revelations when he appeared on AFL 360 on Wednesday night.
“Writing it was stressful, it takes you back to those moments. Just trying to put it on paper was really tough,” Betts said.
Betts was asked by Mark Robinson if he felt let down by the AFL after he voiced his concerns.
“I told them everything and I felt like my voice wasn’t being heard. It did hurt when nothing was done,” he said.
“I told them everything, I know a lot of players told them everything.”
Despite the pain caused from the 2018 camp, Betts said he held nothing against the club and hoped one day his kids would pull on the Crows guernsey.
“I’ve got nothing against the Crows, I love that football club and the players. I had a great chat with Tim Silvers this morning and I hope maybe one day my kids might come and play for the Adelaide Crows, I love the city and I love the supporter base,” he said.
“The support that was shown to me today from the players at that football club and the supporters as well was unreal and I thank them for that.
“It is tough but we made a mistake and you can read it and it’s the truth.
“I accept there apology.”
The details outlined by Eddie Betts in his new book about the 2018 Adelaide Crows training camp are extremely concerning and difficult to read. We commend Eddie on the courage he’s shown in telling this story and are troubled by the ongoing hurt caused to Eddie and his family.
Much of the information detailed in Eddie’s book about the camp is new information to the AFLPA and we are extremely concerned about this information on three levels. Firstly, the lack of psychological safety afforded to the entire playing group, secondly the cultural appropriation of Indigenous artefacts and, thirdly, the deliberate gathering of confidential information on players for the purpose of harmfully misusing the information.
At the time that some details of the camp started to emerge, the AFLPA spoke to a number of Adelaide players about the camp. What we now believe is clear from our discussions with those players and the information contained in Eddie’s book is that players felt pressured into remaining silent about the details of the camp.
On the back of the new information that has emerged, the AFLPA will be contacting all Adelaide players from 2018 to seek a better understanding of the details of the camp and any individual issues that may have arisen from it.
The AFL acknowledges the hurt Eddie Betts, his family, his community, and by extension all Indigenous players experienced as a result of Adelaide Crows’ pre-season camp in 2018.
The AFL investigation in 2018 into the Adelaide Crows camp concluded there were failings in the manner in which the football club identified, implemented and managed the pre-season program however it was ultimately determined there was no violation of industry rules. As a result of the investigation, the AFL made recommendations (which were adopted), on improved governance and compliance in relation to the protection of the players, officials and staff at the Club, including further investment into the Adelaide Crows’ integrity area. Further, the investigation led to the introduction of an agreed AFL approval process ahead of any club pre-season camp or activity that involves an external provider.
Additionally, over the last 15 months the AFL CEO has had regular conversations with a senior Indigenous players group which provides a sounding board for key industry and club decisions impacting our Indigenous players. One of the most important outcomes of the regular dialogue with the group has been the introduction of mandatory Indigenous Player Development Managers at all 18 clubs to provide cultural guidance and support for players.