Port star backtracks after rant over slur ban

Port Adelaide forward Jeremy Finlayson has backtracked on comments made on a podcast declaring his three-match ban for a homophobic slur “tipped me over the edge” and says he in fact has “no issues” with his suspension.

Finlayson was given the lengthy ban as part of the AFL making a statement when it comes to such language despite the 28-year-old apologising multiple times for his single word outburst against Essendon in round 4.

In handing down the suspension, the AFL made it clear that he was saved from a longer ban because of his contrition and the next player to utter the same sort of slur would be sidelined for even longer.

Finlayson, appearing during a regular segment on the Sh!t Talkers podcast with his wife, Kellie, who is battling cancer, aired his thoughts as part of their “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.”

But after his comments were revealed Finlayson released a statement through the club declaring he should have explained himself better and that he had “no issue with the sanction at all”.

“When re-thinking my comments today, it’s clear that I should have provided more context,” he said.

“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 podcast episode has since been edited and re-uploaded without that comment from Finlayson after being condemned online by some listeners.

Amid the fallout from Finlayson’s ban, the AFL Players Association boss Paul Marsh called out the league for being “consistently inconsistent” after North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson escaped suspension for a homophobic slur during a pre-season clash with St Kilda.

Marsh also called for an “urgent review of the AFL’s sanctioning framework”.

“We believe the AFL is consistently inconsistent and there are double standards in its approach to dealing with players compared to others on behavioural matters,” Marsh said last week.

“This issue highlights the lack of clarity on how the AFL handles these situations, and we want this to be the catalyst for an urgent review of the sanctioning framework.

“If this type of conduct is a three-week sanction for a player, it should be for everyone involved in the game.”

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