Blues teammates rally behind Eddie Betts after racist smear

Carlton star Eddie Betts is pictured during a pre-season match.
Carlton star Eddie Betts' teammates have rallied behind him after he was the butt of a vile racist attack on social media. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Carlton have rallied behind Eddie Betts after the AFL forward called out racist abuse he received on social media.

On Sunday, Betts posted on Instagram a tweet which referenced him and included a photo of a monkey.

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"If at any time anyone is wondering why we work so hard to bring attention to the importance of stamping out racism, this is it," Betts wrote on the post.

"If ever there was a time where our focus on this needs to continue more than ever, it's now.

"We each have a responsibility to ourselves and each other. To continue to listen. To learn. To educate.

"To ignore it is to be part of the problem, to call it out is to be part of the solution."

Across round two, AFL teams took a knee pre-game, showing their support for and solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Carlton teammate Sam Docherty backs Betts in racism fight

Carlton co-captain Sam Docherty said Betts' vilification underlined the need for the AFL and its clubs and players to take a stand.

"We've seen the stance we've taken as a footy club. I think they found out pretty early on Saturday morning and they've acted as they saw fit," Docherty told reporters on Monday.

"We're seeing at the moment there's a lot of this in society and for what criticism the AFL's getting for being political, I think what we're trying to do is just make it right.

"He's one of our teammates, one of our most loved figures at our footy club and to see him vilified like that, it does hurt us.

"Anyone that's asking a question about why we're taking a knee pre-game or why we're trying to make a difference, why we're trying to actually do something about it - this is the exact reason why.

"I can't understand what that does to Eddie, and I never will - and I don't think any of us will, that don't go through that.

"So from a footy club perspective we've just got to wrap our arms around him and being silent hasn't worked for a number of years - so as an industry and as a footy club we've got to stand behind our Indigenous players and make a stand."

Docherty said Betts had seemed "okay" at Carlton on Monday but emphasised the need for the Blues to rally around the 33-year-old.

"I know it hurts him, and it's completely understandable," Docherty said.

"I think it's a pretty deep rooted situation and I'm feeling for him."