AFL: Eddie Betts says he was ‘brainwashed’ at controversial Adelaide Crows training camp


Eddie Betts felt he was ‘BRAINWASHED’ at infamous Adelaide Crows training camp: Star claims traumatic childhood memories he told counsellors where shouted back at him in front of teammates

  • Eddie Betts has opened up on the ‘weird’ Adelaide training camp of 2018 
  • A number of players and officials left the club after the controversial trip away 
  • Claimed stars subjected to verbal abuse during the pre-season Gold Coast visit
  • Betts says he felt ‘brainwashed’ and was ‘snappy’ with his kids after the camp 

AFL legend Eddie Betts has revealed how he felt ‘like a piece of me was brainwashed’ following Adelaide Crows’ controversial 2018 training camp as the AFL opened up on all the ‘weird s***’ that went on on the Gold Coast.

In Betts’ new book, which tells the story of his upbringing, life and AFL career, the 35-year-old dubbed the camp ‘weird’ and ‘completely disrespectful’. 

The Crows undertook a pre-season leadership camp in 2018 in the wake of their Grand Final defeat by Richmond, and events on that trip led to the departure of a number of players and officials from the club.

Betts made his feelings about the camp known and was subsequently removed from the club’s leadership group, before returning to Carlton the following season.

Eddie Betts has released a new book about his life and AFL career

Eddie Betts has released a new book about his life and AFL career

Eddie Betts (second from left) lines up with Crows teammates Patrick Dangerfield, Nathan van Berlo, Scott Thompson and David Mackay in 2015

Eddie Betts (second from left) lines up with Crows teammates Patrick Dangerfield, Nathan van Berlo, Scott Thompson and David Mackay in 2015

He claimed private details shared during counselling sessions were used against him in front of his teammates. 

‘The camp ended up appropriating a First Nations peoples’ ritual of a ‘talking stick’ and attempting to apply it to all of us, even the non-Indigenous players and coaches,’ he wrote.

‘In my view, the talking stick was used incorrectly, and I was not aware that any Elder had given permission for it to be used either.

‘There was all sorts of weird shit that was disrespectful to many cultures, but particularly and extremely disrespectful to my culture.’

Betts claims players were subjected to verbal abuse during the trip after the 2017 Grand Final

Betts claims players were subjected to verbal abuse during the trip after the 2017 Grand Final

Betts says his partner, Anna, ‘noticed I was starting to get snappy at the kids and I started getting really bad anxiety’, culminating in him opening up on what happened on the Gold Coast. 

He also confirmed reports stating that the Richmond theme song was repeatedly played throughout the camp to be true. 

In one instance, Betts claimed he was put into a body harness attached to a rope and told to fight his way towards a knife which he could use to cut himself free, while the camp instructors launched verbal abuse in his direction.

Betts also says that a 'talking stick' was appropriated and used incorrectly during the camp

Betts also says that a ‘talking stick’ was appropriated and used incorrectly during the camp

‘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 wrote.

‘I was exhausted, drained and distressed about the details being shared.

‘Another camp-dude jumped on my back and started to berate me about my mother, something so deeply personal that I was absolutely shattered to hear it come out of his mouth.’

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