350-game AFL superstar, Eddie Betts has opened up on the infamous Adelaide Crows pre-season camp which ultimately de-railed his AFL career.
Betts has released excerpts that disclose his harrowing experiences in his new autobiography, The Boy from Boomerang Crescent via The Age.
The three-time All-Australian publicised that his first “serious reservations” about the camp came about after completing an hour-long psychological assessment conducted by a person, he understood to be a counsellor from Collective Mind – the leadership training group that began working with the Adelaide Crows midway through the 2017 season.
Confidential information shared by Betts throughout this assessment was later misused by the camp leaders, including information on his family and childhood.
“Things were yelled at me that I had disclosed to the camp’s ‘counsellors’ about my upbringing. All the people present heard these things,” Betts writes.
At the conclusion of the camp, Betts says he addressed the playing group with the intention of protecting younger Aboriginal players from having similar experiences.
“After a meeting with all the Blackfullas at the club, I decided to address the playing group and talk about how I found the camp, mainly addressing the cultural safety implications for us brothers. I sought permission to remove all the Aboriginal boys from any further interactions with the ‘leadership specialists’ and their mind-training exercises. I told the club I wouldn’t be involved in any more mind-training exercises at all.” Betts writes.
Just three weeks later, Betts was dropped from the club’s leadership group.
In the months and subsequent season following the camp, Betts said he lost the drive to play footy and was seriously questioning his playing future.
At the conclusion of the 2019 season, Betts returned to his original AFL club Carlton, where he played a further 36 games, placing him third on the list for most games played by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players.
Photo: Eddie Betts kicking By Flickerd is available HERE is used under a Creative Commons Attribution. The Image has not been modified.