Another disgusting racial attack against Eddie Betts on social media helped “galvanise” Carlton to an inspiring upset win against Geelong.
The veteran small forward played a vital role in the Blues’ first victory at GMHBA Stadium since 1996 with two goals and a game-saving tackle in the dying seconds on Saturday night.
Betts, in his 16th AFL season, chased down Cats youngster Jack Henry as Geelong attempted to snatch a miracle comeback win after trailing by 42 points in the third quarter.
But Betts’ manic pressure allowed the Blues to hang on and record a memorable two-point victory.
Carlton coach David Teague said Betts was himself around the club despite copping the latest in a long and constant line of racially-motivated attacks directed at the 33-year-old.
“(Eddie’s) just an phenomenal individual when it comes to dealing with adversity,” Teague said after the Blues’ first win of 2020.
“In this situation, and what I’m super proud of it, he believes strongly and I love the way he’s calling it out.
“I love the way his teammates, particularly, and the club get behind him because we want to support all Aboriginal players.
“We believe strongly in that cause as a club and I love the way the club got behind the situation. I think it galvanised our players a little bit.”
Teague said he hoped beating last year’s preliminary finalists at their home ground would propel Carlton forward for the rest of the season.
“I really hope they start to believe, and belief is a powerful thing,” he said.
“I probably got a bit frustrated with our loss (against Melbourne) last week.
“Our group, particularly for the first three quarters, will get a lot out of this game.”
Carlton are due to play Essendon next week, but that game is in significant doubt of going ahead as planned on Saturday night after Bombers player Connor McKenna tested positive for COVID-19.
Speaking on Saturday night, Teague was still in the dark about how the situation would affect that round-four fixture.