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Gold Coast Suns’ Wil Powell Suspended For Five Games Over Homophobic Slur Incident

Gold Coast Suns defender Wil Powell has been handed a five-game suspension by the AFL’s Integrity Unit.

The decision came after an incident where he directed a homophobic slur towards a Brisbane opponent during Sunday’s game. 

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The Suns revealed that Powell informed the club about his comment during the game, leading to a subsequent investigation that found him guilty.

In response to Powell’s suspension, the AFL expressed its deep concern, as the incident happened only a few weeks after Port Adelaide’s Jeremy Finlayson was suspended for three games for using a homophobic slur.

AFL general counsel Stephen Meade said: “There could be no clearer message — homophobia has no place in our game, nor in society. We want all people in the community to feel welcomed in our game and comments such as Powell’s only takes away from this. As a code, as a community, we all must be better.”

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Powell has since issued a public apology and personally contacted the Lions player involved in the incident. 

In a video released by the Suns on their social media channels, Powell expressed regrets for his actions.

“I sincerely regret what I said that night and as soon as I said it, I was remorseful. I’ve apologised to the Brisbane Lions player multiple times during the night and after the game via text.”

“I’d like to apologise to everyone this may affect, the word I used being a homophobic slur. To all the appropriate groups that it may affect and all the people surrounding those groups, I hope you take my apology sincerely as it is coming from the heart. I am very hurt by saying this,” he added.

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