‘Sickened, embarrassed’: Bomber fan says sorry
THE Essendon member at the centre of an ugly altercation with Melbourne ruck Max Gawn has issued an unreserved apology for the outburst he said "sickened" him.
The club has issued the supporter with a first and final warning and said if he is found to breach the club's membership code again, he will have his membership revoked and face further action.
"I am truly sorry and embarrassed by my behaviour," the supporter said.
"Watching that back on TV I was sickened by my outburst especially as there were women and children nearby.
"I now realise that Max Gawn was just doing his job playing football and my actions were terrible.
"This has made me look at myself and realise never to behave like that again. I would like to apologise to Max Gawn for my behaviour and also to my family who have been embarrassed and ashamed of my behaviour.
"I would also like to apologise to Essendon Football Club for my actions as it embarrasses and affects the club I love."
The club affirmed that it "is committed to maintaining a safe, enjoyable, inclusive and family-friendly match-day environment".
"Our members are bound by the club's code of conduct, and the behaviour displayed by the member at yesterday's game is not only unacceptable but is not consistent with the club's values," the club said in a statement.
Earlier today Gawn said he didn't want to see the unruly fan banned from attending future matches.
The fan was not kicked out of the ground on Sunday but rather left of his own volition after being spoken to by security.
The Essendon supporter hung over the fence as Gawn went to retrieve the ball on the fence line before taking a shot at goal and appeared visibly agitated in addressing the Demons ruck.
Gawn, 26, admitted that he found the man's body language confronting and said his language left a lot to be desired.
"There was just noise … and probably a few words that weren't suitable for the 1.10pm timeslot," he said.
"It was more the demeanour of hanging over the fence that caught my attention.
"To be honest, it was water off a duck's back. Nothing really offended me, but there was a fair bit of noise going on."
Gawn said there had been "a few Essendon supporters giving me a fair bit of grief during that set shot routine", which prompted him to celebrate the goal in their general direction.
But he was adamant that nothing offensive was said and that he did not want to see the supporter banned from matches in the future.
"I like passion from supporters, but to almost stop me getting the ball was a bit too much," he said on 3AW.
"It didn't really bother me too much.
"Personally, I don't think he should be (banned). I can understand the passion that's there in the crowd.
"I have the same sort of passion sometimes towards opposition players and umpires and even fans, as well. We all get caught up in the moment every now and then.
"I'm sure he regrets it, which I think he's come out and said.
"Hopefully he can be better next game."
Hawthorn legend Jason Dunstall slammed the behaviour of the supporter, calling on Etihad Stadium security to act and kick out the fan following the ugly incident.
"I'd like to see security grab him (the fan) and chuck him out," Dunstall said on Fox Footy.
"It doesn't matter what he said."
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