Port’s Finlayson ‘cut deeply’ over his homophobic slur

Steve Larkin and Anna Harrington |

Jeremy Finlayson (r) deeply regrets his outburst against the Bombers, Port coach Ken Hinkley says.
Jeremy Finlayson (r) deeply regrets his outburst against the Bombers, Port coach Ken Hinkley says.

Port Adelaide forward Jeremy Finlayson has been “cut deeply” after making a homophobic slur that resulted in a three-game AFL suspension, his coach Ken Hinkley says.

Finlayson was banned for a slur directed at an Essendon opponent in last Saturday night’s game at Adelaide Oval.

“The reality was, as has been well reported, Jeremy knew straight away he had made a mistake,” Hinkley told reporters on Friday.

“And he’s the sort of person who … that would cut deeply for him. He doesn’t want to be that person.”

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley.
Power coach Ken Hinkley has praised Jeremy Finlayson for stepping up and “owning” his mistake. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

A remorseful Finlayson informed club officials of the incident at three-quarter-time of Saturday’s match, and apologised to the Essendon player post-game.

Hinkley said the 28-year-old had shown “his ownership of the whole situation right from the very start”.

“He knew he made the mistake immediately and he handled it very well,” the coach said.

“(I am) someways proud of the way he was able to handle it and deal with the situation, as difficult as it was for everyone involved.

“It’s an opportunity for us to all understand and learn – and there’s still more to be learnt in those areas of our game, that we don’t need to go to those places.”

In March, North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson was fined $20,000 and given a suspended two-match ban for a homophobic slur against St Kilda’s Dougal Howard and Jimmy Webster during a trial game.

The Kangaroos coach on Friday sidestepped the discrepancy between his penalty and that for Finlayson.

“You’re asking the wrong person, that’s the AFL you need to ask in terms of how do they set their standards and what their sanctions are,” Clarkson told reporters.

“All I can do is just accept the fact that I made a blue on the day and did everything I possibly could to rectify that … and accept the sanctions that have been imposed by the AFL.

“All anyone in any walk of life wants to be done is treated in terms of their particular case and their particular circumstances.

“And I don’t know the circumstances of Jeremy’s, and the AFL has seen fit to make judgment.

“Then if there’s discrepancy or concern with that, then it’s better off to direct that at the AFL rather than me.”

Finlayson will miss Saturday night’s match against Fremantle and following games against Collingwood and St Kilda after being suspended by the AFL’s integrity unit.

The former Greater Western Sydney player, like Clarkson, will also have to pay for and undertake a Pride in Sport education program.

“Jeremy, he’s fine, he’s OK. He’s moving on with what he needs to move on with,” Hinkley said.

“He understands exactly what’s gone on this week and understands the mistakes that went with that.

“And he’s handled it, I think, in the best possible way he could, knowing that he made the mistake.”

AAP