Taylor apologises over 'big poofter' remark
AFL commentator Brian Taylor apologised after causing outrage with his remark about Geelong's Harry Taylor during Saturday's pre-game show.PT0M50S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-3bulp 620 349 July 13, 2014
UPDATE: AFL commentator Brian Taylor has been told to stay home by radio station 3AW following his use of an offensive gay slur on live television on Saturday night.
Taylor was due to call the Essendon-Collingwood game on Sunday but was given the "afternoon off" as uproar continues over his calling Geelong player Harry Taylor "a big poofter" on Channel Seven.
"Management has decided to give me the afternoon off to gather my thoughts," Taylor said.
‘‘My apology of last night absolutely stands unequivocally. I made a blue, I apologised accordingly at the first opportunity to the Seven viewers where I made the blue.’’
3AW general manager Shane Healy said there were no plans for further censure at this stage.
“Given that he made similar stupid comments not that long ago, I felt it was appropriate to ask him to miss today’s broadcast,” he said.
“We understand that although none of the comments were malicious, they were stupid and the fact he did it again last night ... we are concerned he may need further counselling.”
Channel Seven has already committed to providing counselling and education to Taylor but Healy said he would look into whether 3AW will need to provide support “over and above” what the television station is offering.
Taylor called Geelong player Harry Taylor “a big poofter” on-air.
Harry Taylor accepted Taylor's apology, saying at an Auskick clinic that he was not offended but maintained the language used was unacceptable in society.
“Our club respects diversity in our game and in our society and I know all of our players are very big on that and I don’t think those things should be said in our game but also in society,” he said.
Taylor made the comment about the Geelong star on Channel Seven’s pre-game coverage of the Carlton and Sydney Swans match. It was not the first time he has uttered offensive remarks in the media. Taylor disparaged 3AW colleague Seb Costello in June, mocking his dress style as "gay”.
“I don’t want to offend his upbringing or his parents, but he looks gay. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just a look as 'sophisticated' is a look, as 'daggy' is a look. You look gay.”
3AW is owned by Fairfax Media, which also owns The Age.
Hamish McLachlan, host of Channel Seven's AFL Game Day, said Taylor's most recent slur was a “really bad error of judgment”.
“Discrimination is not acceptable and it won't be tolerated here,” McLachlan said. “He's kicking himself.”
"We apologise, he apologises, and it was a very bad moment last night on TV."
The AFL said it was satisfied with how Seven handled the controversy.
‘‘From our point of view, the broadcaster took the necessary and appropriate action,’’ an AFL spokesman said.
He said soon after Taylor’s comment went to air, the AFL’s head of broadcasting, Simon Lethlean, was on the phone to Seven Melbourne managing director Lewis Martin.
The spokesman said Martin was told Taylor’s remark was completely inappropriate and should be withdrawn, along with an apology.
‘‘By the time the call was made, the process at Seven was already under way,’’ the AFL spokesman said.
The offensive comment occurred after footage of Taylor being chaired off the field following his 150th match last week was aired.
“I've just seen that crap from Harry. He's a big poofter,” Taylor said. He then made an obscene gesture, adding: “I mean, give them this one Harry."
Taylor apologised on-air at half-time, saying: “I said something that I regret and I sincerely apologise in regard to Harry Taylor and anyone and particularly Harry and any of his friends that were offended by the remark.”
Immediately after the incident, social media lit up in anger, calling for Taylor’s sacking. On Twitter, Mikey Nicholson tweeted: “There are questioning youth out there watching your national broadcast. Don’t use hateful language.”
Jason Ball, who is the first Australian football player to discuss his sexuality at any level of the game tweeted that his Taylor apology “completely misses the point”.
“[It] shows no understanding of the impact homophobic language has. Education needed.”
Seven Melbourne released a statement soon after, with managing director Lewis Martin saying the comments were “unacceptable” and “will not be tolerated”.
“Brian has been censured, and will be supported through counselling and education to ensure this mistake will never happen again.”