"Two junior football clubs are headed to a tribunal hearing tonight after an 11-year-old boy was allegedly racially abused during a match near Geelong.
Ronen Jafari's stepmother, Lucy, said he was crying and red-faced when she went to pick him up after a game between the Portarlington Demons and Drysdale Gold at Portarlington on July 2. The Portarlington under 12s player had allegedly been called a n----- by another junior player.
Ronen's Iranian father Ben said he had wanted and expected an apology from the player who abused his son but after failed mediation attempts the matter was now going to the tribunal.
Mr Jafari said he had not wanted to take the matter to the tribunal but he believed the player and the boys' teammates should know what was said was wrong. "He's a child, he doesn't understand maybe ... but at least he should be told that what he's done is not right," Mr Jafari said.
It's just kid talk, of course. Iranians are not even dark-skinned. I was called some bad names when I was a schoolkid but I had enough backbone to ignore it. But the precious little Muslim kid above obviously did not.
If the case does go to a tribunal, the Iranian father might discover a difficulty: The High Court of Australia ruled just a few years ago the the n-word is not offensive in Australia.