Racism in footy not dead: Port's Pearce - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Racism in footy not dead: Port's Pearce

By Steve Larkin 18/05/2011 04:03:17 PM Comments (0)

Port Adelaide winger Danyle Pearce says racism in Australian rules football isn't dead after being vilified by a spectator.

The indigenous Pearce said he was racially abused by a SANFL spectator when dumped from Port's AFL side last month.

Pearce, who also scoffed at speculation linking him to the new AFL entity Greater Western Sydney, said racism was yet to be eradicated from football.

"It kind of caught me by surprise but I dealt with it at the time and moved on," Pearce said on Wednesday of being racially abused when playing for Sturt against the Eagles on April 15.

"There are some narrow-minded people and you just have pity for them, they are just speaking without any knowledge at all."

The AFL is staging its annual indigenous round this weekend but Pearce said racism remained.

"I don't think it's 100 per cent dead," he said.

"But from where it was to where it is now, it's absolute ten-fold different."

Pearce is contracted at Port Adelaide until the end next year but has an admirer in his ex-coach, Mark Williams, now an assistant at GWS.

Their relationship fuelled speculation the 25-year-old was headed to the Giants, which surprised Pearce who said he would definitely be at Port next year.

"I hear about the headlines and I'm about as shocked as the next person," he said.

"Footy is definitely a business and you weigh up your options when it gets to that point, but I'm still contracted for two years.

"To be honest, I haven't even thought past this week at the moment, I have only just got back in the side so I have to make sure that I play well."

Pearce blamed lapsed communication with coach Matthew Primus for his axing from Port's side for three matches last month.

"It wasn't motivation at all, it was just a different understanding, not the right understanding, of what exactly he was looking for," Pearce said.

"The communication wasn't there, I wasn't exactly 100 per cent sure what he was looking for."

Primus has taken a hardline approach to Pearce and his senior colleagues, with Kane Cornes, Chad Cornes, Steven Salopek and Jacob Surjan also dropped at stages this season.

"It was disappointing to be dropped and not contributing to the team as I'd like," Pearce said.

"I'm just really trying to work on what Matty wanted to see and hopefully I have done that.

"He just wanted to see a lot more speed around the ground, chasing the ball forward, chasing the ball back.

"And just show a lot of speed, which is my greatest strength, and he wanted to see a lot more of it."

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