Dipierdomenico returns to AFL role - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dipierdomenico returns to AFL role

By Roger Vaughan 19/08/2010 08:49:05 PM Comments (0)

Brownlow Medallist Robert Dipierdomenico has regained his role as an AFL Auskick ambassador, two months after being stood down over a racist slur.

Dipierdomenico visited indigenous communities in Victoria, NSW and the Northern Territory as part of an AFL-imposed education program, following his comments about fellow Brownlow Medallist Gavin Wanganeen.

He described Wanganeen as "not too bad for an Abo" in early June at a football function in Hahndorf, near Adelaide.

The league soon stood down an embarrassed Dipierdomenico from his part-time Auskick role.

The Hawthorn premiership player said leaders at the various communities he visited let him know exactly what they thought of his comment about Wanganeen.

"I've been on the outer now for about six weeks and I've been out and visited many areas I've never been to before and spoken to some wonderful people, the elders of the Aboriginal communities," he told Fairfax Radio.

"I really have learnt a lot about myself and I've really enjoyed my journey around Australia.

"I was very embarrassed (by) what I said ... even though (it was) unintentional, (it's) very unacceptable.

"They certainly welcomed me to their culture centres and communities, but certainly did not sweep it under the carpet, they certainly let me know how they felt about my words."

League chief executive Andrew Demetriou, who was furious with Dipierdomenico's Hahndorf comment, said the well-known former player had clearly learnt his lesson.

"Robert has spent much of the past six weeks visiting communities and has gained a greater understanding of the richness, diversity and circumstances of indigenous communities," Demetriou said.

"Robert has told us how much he has learned from the trip and we have had a positive response from the communities to Robert's acknowledgment of his mistake and his desire to engage, share and learn more about indigenous Australia."

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