A supporter has been seen wearing a Klu Klux Klan costume at a juniors Australian Football League (AFL) match. The individual was photographed in the infamous white outfit with the pointed hood during a colts AFL game at Pinjarra Junior Football Club at Pinjarra oval, south of Perth, on 28 August. The hood obscured half of the man's face, hampering identification.
The costume is widely associated with the extreme US racist Klu Klux Klan (KKK) organisation. The KKK has historically committed many racially motivated crimes in the USA. Parents and supporters at the game felt the costume was especially inappropriate at an event with children present.
There may have been more than one individual at the match in the costume. According to reporting in the local Mandurah Mail newspaper, which obtained the image, an unnamed spectator at the game claimed there were a minimum of three people wearing KKK costumes.
Each individual was dressed in a different colour, implying a different role in the organisation. "All the colours represent a different thing," said the informant. "The person in black is the head of kill, the one in white is for white-only weddings, the one in red is for the pig they burn before they burn the people."
Two other unnamed Pinjarra supporters said there had been several racially motivated incidents at AFL games in the area during the past month.
One asserted that spectators shouted racially motivated abuse at indigenous players in the senior team and that a boy had been suspended for 18 weeks after he assaulted a player who called him a "black c***" and a "dirty black dog". The female informant said the player responsible for the verbal abuse received just a one-week suspension.
Parents said the latest incident was particularly "offensive" and called for the ejection of supporters who shout racial insults or wear offensive costumes. However, there have been claims that the club had a dressup day and that the KKK outfit was "not intended to cause offence".
The Mandurah Mail reported Pinjarra Junior Football Club president Luke Guthrie as saying: "I can assure you all this individual has no involvement at our club and we do not condone this sort of behaviour." Peel Football League president Geoff Hiller said there would be an investigation into the incident.
The Ku Klux Klan has a presence in Australia and some members are politically active. In 2009 the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reported that David Palmer, the Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan Australia, said several Klan members had secretly joined far right political party Australia First.