An Australian Channel Seven sports commentator and ‘veteran personality’ will be allowed to keep his job after he called a played “a big poofter” on the air, it has been revealed.
Brian Taylor, who works for the network’s Australian Football League program, made the remark prior to the Sydney v Carlton game last weekend. Speaking over the pre-match presenters, Taylor said, “I don’t know whether you guys down there can hear me or not…I am up her here getting ready for the game and I’ve just seen that crap from Harry – he’s a big poofter”, adding, “You can’t be doing the old royal wave, Harry, next thing you’ll have your mum and dad out there”.
The player he insulted, Geelong defender Harry Taylor, was celebrating his 150th game. Following the remarks, Twitter exploded with users criticising the commentator, who apologised at half-time saying, “I said something that I regret and I sincerely apologise in regard to Harry Taylor and anyone who was offended by my remark, and I sincerely regret any harm I have caused. So sorry for that”.
Fellow AFL host Hamish McLachlan confirmed that Taylor will remain in his current position despite public complaints calling for him to be fired. Lewis Martin, Managing Director of Seven Melbourne said, “Comments such as those made last night are unacceptable and should not be tolerated”.
In a statement, the network told how Taylor is set to receive “counselling and education in the area”, and apologised for what it called “a very bad moment on TV”.
The AFL has been working on eliminating homophobia in recent years, agreeing to show ‘No To Homophobia’ advertisements at the preliminary finals after a campaign Jason Ball set up – who is openly gay – garnered 27,000 signatures.
Ball became the first player at any level of the AFL to come out as gay in 2012, and has since said that “pejorative terms used to describe gay people in the football world contributed to his anxiety about coming out”.
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