Eagles boss hits out at racist Liam Ryan trolls

Liam Ryan is free to play this weekend. Photo:: Getty
Liam Ryan is free to play this weekend. Photo:: Getty

WEST Coast premiership forward Liam Ryan has become the latest AFL figure targeted for online abuse, prompting more calls for tighter controls on social media.

Eagles chief executive Trevor Nisbett called the racist abuse of Ryan hateful and vitriolic garbage.

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Ryan’s teammate Nic Naitanui led a groundswell of online support for Ryan among AFL players.

It follows last week’s sexist comments against Carlton AFLW star Tayla Harris, while Adelaide ace Eddie Betts has repeatedly been the target of racist trolls.

“The social media companies need to do more,” Nisbett said.

“We would like to see a lot of things happen in social media – when you perform those cowardly acts in an anonymous way, it’s not fair.

West Coast Eagles star Nic Naitanui posted this on his Instagram stories on Sunday.

“The comments posted by some people on social media are absolutely abhorrent.

“The continued use of the term monkey is disgusting and these keyboard cowards must be held to account … no-one should be subjected to this hateful and vitriolic garbage.”

WA Premier Mark McGowan and AFL Players Association boss Paul Marsh also said on Monday that social media companies need to do more to help stamp out online abuse.

Ryan was booked for striking during Saturday night’s loss to Brisbane.

Channel Seven’s Instagram account had a post asking fans if he should be suspended and that led to the racist comments.

In other news, Ryan is free to play against GWS this weekend after he was offered a fine for striking Brisbane’s Darcy Gardiner.

Ryan was offered a $1500 fine for the incident, while Gardiner – who instigated the incident with a knee to Ryan’s back – was fined $1000.