«It’s been an emotional response. It’s a very powerful film … it tells the story of that time really clearly and succinctly,» McLachlan said.
Long said it was an opportunity for people in the football industry to talk again about what racism looks like, and the lasting impact it can have, such as his incident in 1995 with then-Collingwood ruckman Damian Monkhorst.
«We’re not going to shy away from it. I think it’s good to have that discussion,» Long said, standing next to McLachlan and the AFL’s head of social inclusion, Tanya Hosch.
«We didn’t shy away from it in ’95. We took it head on.
«Some of the things that came out of the documentary, I think it’s also about action, putting things in place. How do we stop it?»
The three spoke at the Aboriginal Advancement League building in Thornbury for the launch of the Sir Doug Nicholls round, where Long was announced as the 2019 ambassador.
Despite so many people at the AFL, and Long himself, having seen a screening of The Final Quarter, Hosch wasn’t willing to comment before the documentary was aired publicly.
«We’re not going to say too much about it now because it hasn’t been released, but obviously it’s a great opportunity for us to reflect on what was a very, very painful part of the game’s history, so I’d like to leave it at that for now,» Hosch said.
«But it’s a great opportunity for us to think hard about what happened.»
Long was saddened when he saw the film and said the game needs to continue to call out racism, praising players who have done so this year when identifying it on social media.
«You don’t wish that upon anyone,» Long said. «We’re better than that – it’s not part of our game.»