Collingwood forward Travis Varcoe has been honoured by the Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) for his public stands against racism.

Varcoe received the ADC’s Standing Up to Bigotry Award before his team-mates and coaches this morning. He was presented with the award by ADC chairman, Dr Dvir Abramovich.

Varcoe has consistently spoken of the hurt he and his family have experienced as victims of racial abuse, humanising the issue of vilification and discrimination. He has also keenly supported the idea of calling out abuse to encourage awareness of, and meaningful discussions about, racism.

“I am humbled by the recognition,” Varcoe said. 

“The ADC and others who carry the fight to discrimination do so much good work. I am happy to be contributing in my own way. Hopefully, we are on our way to a more tolerant and just society.”

Dr Abramovich praised Varcoe for using the power of his position as a footballer to “build bridges of understanding”.

“We are proud to recognize and honour Travis for his spirited commitment to promoting respect and inclusivity, and for having the courage to speak out against the virus of racism,” he said.

“Travis has used his voice to promote fairness, good sportsmanship and decency, the values on which the AFL is based, and to advocate for positive social change. Through his actions, Travis has championed the principles of pluralism, equality and fair treatment for all, actions for which we applaud him. We need more leaders like Travis who will build bridges of understanding, and will stand tall with conviction in combating bullying and hatred.

“He has certainly set an example for many to follow, and we are delighted to partner up with him in breaking down barriers and ending discrimination.”