South West Football League women’s coach Maxwell Jetta resigns over racial slander on the pitch


A football coach from an indigenous country has resigned in protest over a ‘disappointing’ incident on the pitch in which a racial slur was directed at an indigenous player.

Maxwell Jetta, cousin of former AFL players Lewis Jetta and Neville Jetta, has resigned as coach of the prestigious South West Australian Football League in a stance against racism in sport .

It came after his club, South Bunbury Football Club, was fined $200 for a racist taunt by one of its players directed at Carey Park striker Hayden Yarran on May 14.

Mr Jetta had coached the South Bunbury women’s team to three premierships.

“This decision was really about me as a community member, a native, a family man and a mentor as well,” Jetta said.

He echoed Yarran’s calls for more to be done to stamp out racism in the league.

Mr Jetta says he is ready to return to football if the culture changes.(ABC Southwest: Dinushi Dias)

“We should be doing more, not just as football clubs, just as members of the community, but everyone in general everywhere, you know, the racism is there, as you can see.

“I think we can do better as people.”

Mr Jetta said he wanted the player who abused Yarran during the game to come forward.

He said it was disappointing that racism was still rampant in sport years after the likes of AFL star Adam Goodes took a stand against it.

“It’s disappointing…it’s 2022,” he said.

“Are we just going to do the same thing over and over again until it’s all swept under the rug?

The Jetta family have a long history of campaigning against racism across Australia.

Former West Coast Eagles player Lewis Jetta has publicly backed Adam Goodes in his calls for traditional Aboriginal dances at AFL games.

The club “reluctantly” accepts his resignation

In a statement, South Bunbury Football Club said it respected Mr Jetta’s decision to step down, but did not acknowledge the reason for his resignation.

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“South Bunbury Football Club have reluctantly accepted the resignation of Max Jetta as coach of our women’s football team for personal reasons,” a spokesperson said.

“On the pitch, Max had a remarkable triple success as premier, he was a fantastic leader off the pitch and became a great friend and mentor to so many.”

In a previous statement, the club apologized for the incident and pledged to promote cultural education and awareness among all of its players, members and supporters.

Hayden Yarran, the Noongar player who reported the incident against him, said he had faced racism all his life and more than once while playing football.

“Growing up, I faced a lot of racism,” he said.

“It was pretty regular as a kid and as a teenager, not a lot as an adult – there were only two occasions I had to deal with it and they were both on the pitch. of soccer.”

Yarran had called for immediate punishment for racial slurs.

Additional reporting by Zoe Keenan and Dominique Bayens

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