MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 06: Taylor Walker of the Crows looks dejected after losing the round 16 AFL match between the Richmond Tigers and the Adelaide Crows at Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 6, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Ex-Crows captain Taylor Walker has spoken candidly about his experience on the outer at Adelaide following his racial slur directed at North Adelaide player Robbie Young.

While the 31-year-old made his first appearance at the club's West Lakes headquarters last week, Walker's open airing on Triple M  provided the public with their first opportunity to hear from the Crows' five-time leading goalkicker.

Walker commenced by stating that his decision to demean Young had come with consequences, but also an opportunity to grow as a person.

“I certainly learnt a lot about myself, my Indigenous teammates, past and present, and certainly the community,” he said on radio waves.

“It’s something that’s going to forever be there, it’s never going to go away, and I’m looking forward to trying to make a difference in the community.”

BALLARAT, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 25: Taylor Walker and his Crows team mates look dejected after losing the round 23 AFL match between the Western Bulldogs and the Adelaide Crows at Mars Stadium on August 25, 2019 in Ballarat, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Walker also delineated that the turmoil had extended onto members of his family.

“One of the toughest things was seeing how much my family did hurt, especially my wife,” the 220-gamer revealed.

“She was an amazing support for me the whole time. You just don’t get through these things by yourself.

“I’ve had a few people that have supported me immensely through this and I suppose when you go things like this you understand who your true friends and family and mates are.”

The club veteran also suggested that he felt like the new boy upon returning to pre-season training such was his stress surrounding his teammate's acceptance levels.

“It felt like I was five or six years old going to my first day of school back in Broken Hill,” he said.

“Bit of the unknown, but the boys were quite welcoming when I came back. Get back and kicking the footy around is what I love doing, so it’s been awesome to be back around the footy club.”

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 16: Taylor Walker of the Crows walks off at half time during the round 13 AFL match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Adelaide Crows at Melbourne Cricket Ground on June 16, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

While Walker's slur will see him unavailable for senior selection for the first three weeks of the 2022 AFL season, the spearhead remained coy aboutplans following his ban.

“That’s a bridge we’ll cross at Round 4. You just control what you can and that’s getting fit over pre-season and having a bit of fun,” he said.

“I look forward to trying to fast-track our young group. We’ve got some good recruits in, we’ve got some players (returning) that we didn’t see much of last year in Wayne Milera and Matty Crouch.

“If we can get those guys up and going and playing, I reckon we’re in a good spot.”

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 28: Taylor Walker of the Crows looks on during the round 19 AFL match between the Adelaide Crows and the Melbourne Demons at Adelaide Oval on July 28, 2018 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

Walker's 220-appearances in a tri-coloured jumper sees him sit on the 15th rung for games played for the club and his 489-goals has him atop the Crows' all-time charts.

Following his slur directed at the former Saint, the NSW/ACT Rams product missed the final pair of games last season after commencing his campaign with bags of five, six and six across the opening three rounds.

 

 

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