Majak Daw kicks the ball away from Hawk Mitch Hallahan. Photo: Getty Images
Racism reared its ugly head at Aurora Stadium on Friday night in the NAB Challenge game between Hawthorn and North Melbourne, after a man was evicted from the ground following a racial taunt towards North Melbourne's Sudanese forward-ruckman Majak Daw.
The man, who was a Hawthorn supporter, was asked to leave his seat by security after the incident, before returning moments later to collect a child, who looked about five years of age.
The incident happened in the third quarter. Fans sitting near the Hawthorn supporter alerted authorities and he was escorted from the stadium within minutes. Police were also in attendance.
Hawthorn will investigate if the man is a member of the club, and if so, he will have his membership cancelled.
Hawthorn's Stuart Fox told the club's website on Friday night: "We would remind all members, supporters and footy fans that Hawthorn Football Club has a zero tolerance approach towards anyone who racially vilifies a player, official or patron.
"Racial vilification at the football in any form is offensive and totally unacceptable - not just to the target of the vilification, but also to all players and supporters."
Two fans were evicted for racially abusing Daw during an AFL game between North and the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium in 2013.
The ruck/forward was also taunted by a Hawthorn fan last year and in 2011 a Port Melbourne supporter was evicted from North Port Oval for racial abuse.
North Melbourne coach Brad Scott was pleased that other supporters had reacted to the evicted fan.
"Unfortunately there are still idiots out there, but if anything good was to come out of it, it was a Hawthorn supporter but other Hawthorn supporters around made it known to him that it wasn’t on and those supporters are to be applauded," Scott told the AFL's website.
"It is disappointing. Majak has been through a lot in his life – far worse than this – but it is disappointing that these things still exist."
It’s not the first time there has been a case of racial abuse in Launceston after then-Hawthorn superstar Lance Franklin was allegedly called a black c… by a spectator in April 2011.
In the wake of that incident the Launceston City Council, which runs Aurora Stadium, pledged to install more CCTV cameras to help catch offenders in the crowd.
With AAP and Scott Spits