TikTok star slams AFL after Jeremy Finlayson uses homophobic slur

Scott O’Halloran and AFL player Jeremy Finlayson

Gay TikToker Scott O’Halloran has passionately hit out at the Australian Football League (AFL) after Jeremy Finlayson reportedly used a homophobic slur during a recent match, saying that the organisation bears responsibility following a similar incident just last month.

During the third quarter of the Port Adelaide’s 69-win over the Bombers on Friday (5 April), forward Jeremy Finlayson directed a homophobic slur towards an Essedon player. 

Scott, who has gone viral on social media several times for posting comedy skits with his brother Luke, took to TikTok on Sunday (7 April), where he has more than 500,000 followers, to slam the AFL over the “huge problem” of homophobia in the game.

In the video, captioned “thinking of gay AFL players today”, Scott said, as he pointed his finger at the camera: “The AFL have a huge problem on their hands and they are the ones to blame.” 

“Recently Alastair Clarkson, a coach in the AFL, used a homophobic slur and all he got was a small fine in comparison to the man’s salary, and he has clearly not deterred the player, Jeremy Finlayson, to use a homophobic slur out on the field.” 

Scott O’Halloran’s comments come after North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson being fined $20,000 and suspended for two matches after allegedly using the homophobic slur, “c***sucker”, against two St Kilda defenders in March.

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He added: “I am asking the AFL to reconsider Alastair Clarkson’s punishment and to take this into consideration when it comes to Jeremy Finlayson, because in any other organisation in Australia you would immediately lose your role for speaking to a colleague like this.

“The reason why I am saying this is because, the toll on our mental health for our community outweighs these small fines.”

He concluded: “AFL, you are supposed to be a leader. There has never been a gay AFL player that has come out of the closet and I wonder why. It comes from the top down, so this homophobia needs to stop.” 

What anti-gay slur did Jeremy Finlayson say?

It is unknown what homophobic slur Jeremy Finlayson used or which player he directed it at. 28-year-old Finlayson has since apologised and is being investigated by the AFL. 

In his apology, released by Port Adelaide following the incident, Finlayson said he takes “full responsibility” and realises the word he used is “very unacceptable in the game of football”. 

“We need to stamp it out and I’m very remorseful,” he added. 

In 2022, Scott O’Halloran hit out at the the Australian Red Cross for its policy on queer men donating blood. The policy states that men who have had sex with other men in the past three months cannot donate blood. Until 2020, the deferral period was 12 months.

Scott and his long-term partner, Marcus Sellen, welcomed their twin boys into the world in February, following a surrogacy journey that they have shared on social media. 

PinkNews has contacted the AFL for comment.