Living Black: Aug 8

“My job now is to make it easier for young Aboriginal kids," says AFL champion Eddie Betts.

NITV current affairs program Living Black host Karla Grant sits down with AFL legend Eddie Betts and discusses family, racism, football and the release of his autobiography.

From growing up in Port Lincoln and Kalgoorlie to playing 350 games and kicking over 600 goals for Carlton and the Adelaide Crows, the Wirangu, Guburn and Kokatha man reached great heights within his football career. But it wasn’t always easy for the self-described “skinny Aboriginal kid” who overcame a legacy of family tragedy to become a champion.

Eddie Betts said during the show: “Growing up being black in Australia, we deal with it [racism] in our everyday life, it happens every day and I try to educate the football clubs on the barriers that Aboriginal AFL players have to deal with…I had a banana thrown at me on the footy field and they [crowd] were calling me all these names and after that I felt like I’d had enough.

“My job now is to make it easier for young Aboriginal kids to come into systems, to have those pathways, to do great, to be leaders in their own right, whether it’s football, whether it’s being a doctor, going to uni, anything they wanna do to chase their dreams and be leaders, because the more leaders that we have in organisations the better we’re going to be.”

Host Karla Grant said: “Eddie Betts is an AFL icon and was one of the game’s most gifted and loved players. It was a pleasure to yarn with him about his life and career and to talk about his autobiography. I’m sure audiences will find this interview compelling as he breaks his silence on several parts of his playing career not detailed before. It’s heartbreaking at times to hear him talk about the racism he experienced as a footy player, but it’s something he’s willing to share in order to make change and stand up to racism in this country.”

Monday, 8 August at 8.30pm on NITV.

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