Port Adelaide forward Jeremy Finlayson has been suspended for three games after making a homophobic slur during last Friday’s match against Essendon.

Finlayson, 28, was found guilty of conduct unbecoming over the incident in the third quarter of the Gather Round match.

It is understood a microphone picked up the insult and at least one Essendon player also called it out.

Finlayson will also be required to attend Pride in Sport training, which he will pay for.

The AFL said the suspension would have been longer if not for Finlayson’s admission, apology and contrition.

“Everyone, including Jeremy understands the word he used is both hurtful and totally unacceptable in any setting, ever,” AFL general counsel Stephen Meade said.

Jeremy Finlayson will be required to attend Pride in Sport training.(AAP: Matt Turner)

“The AFL is very clear that homophobia has no place in our game, nor in society.

“We want all people in LGBTQI+ communities to feel safe playing or attending our games and we know the incident that happened on the weekend does not assist this goal.”

In a statement, Finlayson and the Port Adelaide Football Club accepted the AFL’s findings and sanction.

“The word I used has no place in our society or our game,” Finlayson said.

“Words can be very hurtful and what I said on Friday night was totally unacceptable.

“I unreservedly apologise again to the Essendon player, my teammates, Port Adelaide members and supporters and the LGBTQIA+ community for the distress I have caused.”

The forward will now miss Port Adelaide’s games against Fremantle, Collingwood, and St Kilda.

“I accept the AFL’s sanction and now look forward to reflecting on my behaviour and seeking education to improve myself and understand the impact such comments can have on the broader community,” he said.

Koch expects ‘consistency’ for similar cases

Port Adelaide general manager Chris Davies said Finlayson accepted responsibility for making the comment at the earliest opportunity, and said the club was going to “put our arms” around Finlayson and rehabilitate him.

“It’s fair to say that this has taken a toll on him and that’s not in any way to mitigate the toll it takes on the people who he vilified,” Mr Davies said

“I think we would all acknowledge that this has been a tough time for him and will be a tough time for him forever.

“What he said was wrong and there’s no hiding around that.”

David Koch says he looks forward to the AFL applying consistency to similar cases.(AAP Image: Julian Smith)

Port Adelaide chairman David Koch reiterated Finlayson’s apology and said he looked forward to the AFL applying consistency to similar cases in the future.

“On behalf of the Port Adelaide Football Club, I extend an apology to the Essendon player, the Port Adelaide community of members and supporters and the LGBTQIA+ community,” Mr Koch said.

“We will now provide education for Jeremy and offer him and his family support during this time.

“We do not underestimate the seriousness of this matter and look forward to the AFL applying consistency to such cases in the future.”

Last month, North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson was fined $20,000 and given a suspended two-match ban for allegedly using a homophobic slur in a practice match against St Kilda.

Finlayson’s case has also been compared to that of Adelaide Crows forward Taylor Walker, who was suspended for six games in 2021, for making a racist comment at an SANFL game.

Walker was also ordered to make a $20,000 donation to an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander program.

Posted , updated