The AFL has flagged revisions to its racial vilification policy in the aftermath of the Taylor Walker debacle.
The AFL may strengthen its anti-racial vilification policy further by requiring real regret and education prior to lifting a suspension.
Gillon McLachlan, chief executive, flagged the improvements as the fallout from Taylor Walker's racist remark and subsequent punishment continues.
Eddie Betts, a native Australian, former star Gilbert McAdam, North Melbourne CEO Ben Amarfio, and Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin are among the AFL figures who have expressed their outrage and outrage over racism.
Rory Sloane, Adelaide's captain and Walker's best friend, also spoke about Walker's confused emotions on Thursday.
Apart from Walker's remark, Port Adelaide defender Aliir Aliir and Melbourne goalkeeper Kysaiah Pickett have both been the victim of racial online abuse in recent days.
Walker received a six-game suspension and a $20,000 fine for his racist remark regarding North Adelaide teammate Robbie Young during a SANFL game.
The former Crows captain then apologized to Young in a video.
McLachlan stated that he is in discussions with senior Indigenous players regarding the league's next steps, noting that the general discussion is "complex."
However, he stated that three critical areas of concentration moving forward would be enhancing education, ensuring Indigenous representation at every team - which he implied might be accomplished outside the soft cap - and requiring offenders to demonstrate accountability and contrition.
“Sanctions and fines can be imposed on individual games, but how do we make people to grasp the harm that has been inflicted on the entire game... on all our communities?” McLachlan asked.
“And how do we create a road for them that, in addition to accountability, states that they will not return unless there is genuine repentance, sorrow, learning, and comprehension of that hurt?
“That is the subject of our discussion, and it is certainly on my mind.”
McLachlan was asked if one of the conditions may include having to address a press conference, something Walker has yet to do.
“There will be a lot of material that comes up in our discussions,” McLachlan responded.
The AFL boss noted that the league had engaged “at length” with the government and social media companies about player internet harassment.
McLachlan acknowledged that apprehending criminals is "difficult," saying that individuals should consider their actions and the harm they have caused before posting comments.
He also addressed the link between Walker's punishment and a two-year membership suspension handed down in 2019 to a fan for racist abuse, stating that the two are "different" issues.
“The conversation about whether something is too light, not appropriate, or not enough is distinct from the one I'm having with others about an awareness of the hurt and a road forward for players, individuals, to remain in our industry,” he explained.
Additionally, Sloane stated on Thursday that he has had to create a balance between his connection with Walker and ensuring the well-being of many people at the Crows, particularly their Indigenous players.
Following Pickett's abuse, Goodwin stated that it "needs to end now" and that he and other non-Indigenous people must join the fight.
“Being able to hug him and witness the evident misery he was in following the game is extremely upsetting as a coach, and we need to make a stand,” Goodwin said.