West Coast coach Adam Simpson says the AFL community has “had enough” of racist trolling comments, completing a powerful response from the Eagles to Liam Ryan being targeted.
Simpson echoed the sentiments of star ruckman Nic Naitanui and chief executive Trevor Nisbett after the former called out abhorrent remarks labelling Ryan a “monkey” on an Instagram post.
Several other Eagles players including Willie Rioli, Brad Sheppard and Elliot Yeo joined in the chorus of condemnation with their own posts, while Fremantle star Michael Walters also got involved.
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Speaking on 7NEWS, Simpson said Ryan was “OK” after the incident but urged online commenters to think about the implications of their words.
“Liam’s OK, but unfortunately, it’s not an isolated incident across the AFL in the past month or so,” Simpson said.
“It’s escalated, and quite frankly, we’ve all had enough.
“I suppose it’s a little bit about the stance that you make against what happened today, but also education on why it’s so offensive.
“Those two elements need to be addressed. It’s just really disappointing that we’re still putting up with this in 2019.”
On the field, Ryan escaped with a fine and avoided a ban from the Match Review Panel after his retaliatory strike on Brisbane’s Darcy Gardiner on Saturday night.
Simpson implored his players to show better discipline after tailing off late in the loss to the Lions.
“(Ryan) has got to be better than that. I understand there were reasons for doing it, but I thought the last 5-6 minutes in the game in particular were really disappointing in that sense,” Simpson said.
The Eagles coach confirmed Josh Kennedy would bolster West Coast’s attack in Saturday’s home opener against GWS after the reigning premiers mustered just two goals in the final three terms in Brisbane.
“The ability to spread the load is really important for us, and we didn’t get it done on the weekend,” he said.
“We also got a chance to expose some of our younger players up forward and give them some really good experience.
“We’d like to think we don’t have to rely on Josh, but it’ll be good when he’s back in the side.”