Race row erupts after Bay AFL stoush
THE best game of the Wide Bay AFL season between Bay Power and the Hervey Bay Bombers has been tainted by a brawl and allegations of racial vilification towards one of its star players.
The Chronicle can reveal Bay Power will today lodge a formal complaint to the league alleging Kym Sims was the victim of a racial slur by a Hervey Bay Bombers player in the second quarter of the match.
The league's leading goal scorer was involved in an on-field scuffle between several players from both teams when he was allegedly told 'Get off the ground you fat f****** Asian c***'.
Umpires were forced to break up players and restore order on the field.
After the altercation, Sims immediately appeared distressed as he left the field and walked into the away team dressing room, leaving the crowd to believe he had been injured.
A Bay Power runner, who had followed Sims into the sheds, could be seen speaking with Bay Power coach Kristian Walton who then left the sideline and disappeared into the dressing room.
He returned a few minutes later to continue coaching the team but without Sims.
Just prior to half-time, Sims returned to the players dug-out.
At the half-time break the Chronicle asked Sims why he walked off but he refused to comment and returned with the team to the dressing room.
He never returned to the field.
Coach Walton said he believed Sims had been racially vilified on the field, not for the first time, and was affected by what he perceived to be derogatory remarks about his Asian heritage.
AFL Wide Bay chairman Anthony Stothard was also approached at half-time and declined to comment until a formal complaint was received.
Stothard said if a complaint was lodged to the league a full investigation would be conducted by AFL complaints officers.
Both coaches refused to comment when questioned about the incident at the conclusion of the match.
Follow-up inquiries with the Bay Power club on Sunday morning revealed that the club was taking the matter seriously and would make a formal complaint to the Wide Bay League today.
Coach Walton said he had spoken with Sims and had no reason to doubt the validity of his claim of vilification.
"This type of behaviour is not tolerated at our club and there is no place for it in the game," Walton said.
"We ask the league to undertake a full investigation into the matter."
Walton told the Chronicle that depending on the result of the investigation, the club would to consider what options were available to protect their players.
"The club would have to consider taking further action if required," he said.