Josh Jenkins’ Statement Supports Eddie Betts’ Story About Adelaide Crows’ Union Field



Former Adelaide forward Josh Jenkins says leaders at the infamous Crows pre-season camp preyed on players with a traumatic upbringing and asked a club doctor to release a report to the public.

Jenkins is the first former Crows player to publicly endorse AFL legend Eddie Betts’ version of events following the release of his autobiography this week.

The 33-year-old, who retired last year after a stint with Geelong, described the 2018 camp on the Gold Coast as “stupid” and “shameful”.

“Every player was reprimanded with abuse and physicality, so they would have been physically and emotionally exhausted,” Jenkins read in a SEN statement on Friday.

CLICK HERE TO READ JENKINS’S FULL STATEMENT

“This is where I am happy to try to explain why some rituals were confronting each other and some were ‘nothing to see here’ and easily passed on to others.

“In my opinion, the kids who had had a more ‘normal’ or traditional upbringing with no real trauma or tragedy in their lives had very little to be teased and prodded about.”

Jenkins believes he and Betts were targeted after revealing personal information to camp leaders.

“My childhood is a source of shame, pain and pride,” said Jenkins.

“I am proud to be where I am today despite all the potential obstacles that arise as a young man, but I will always have the pain of not having a family to lean on in difficult times or to celebrate with on celebratory occasions.

“Even as an adult, the little things can stay with you. I remember the embarrassment I felt when I had no one to invite into the rooms for my debut presentation of the sweater. No matter how far you go, some things can always gnaw at you.

“I explained that my upbringing had probably led me to be more skeptical and isolated, with the determination to do things my way.

“I also stated that I was proud of who I was and that my childhood was in no way relevant to anything I did as a professional athlete.

“I have stated more than once that I did not want any of my farms to be used or even spoken to during or after the camp. Something that was promised to me, but in my view, a promise that was broken.

“Those – like me, Eddie and maybe others – had experienced different things that were more raw when we focused – especially when we were assured, essentially promised, nothing like that would be relieved,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins said he was disturbed when sensitive information about his childhood and upbringing was brought before teammates.

“I remember some of the arrows thrown at Eddie – and others – and I remember watching one of our coaches who quickly gathered my emotions.

“Everyone followed the ritual and on the last morning we had a relaxed discussion with the facilitators, which was also the time we were told how to discuss what we had done with our teammates and family.

“I distinctly remember the role play of what to say to partners and teammates.”

Adelaide went to the field a few months after losing in the shocking 2017 final to Richmond.

The Crows have not played in the finals since and are going through a lengthy reconstruction under the guidance of manager Matthew Nicks, who arrived at the club ahead of the 2020 season.

Jenkins called Crows doctor Marc Cesana to post a report he had done on the pitch.

There is a report from our club doctor Marc Cesana, with whom I have sat on countless occasions when he has assessed my well-being and has done the same with others …

“He wrote a long report based on his relationships with us as players and people.

“No one has ever acted on that relationship, which I know is overwhelming.

“The relationship must see the light. He is the only example of a medical professional who has dealt with the people and players involved on a daily basis.

“He was worried about us.

“He expressed his disappointment with what happened to us, but he never revealed the details of what he had discussed with other players.

“That’s why the relationship has to see the light.

“I remember, during one meeting, our doctor expressed to the entire game group and most of the staff that what happened in the field was totally unacceptable – and I know the report captures it!

“Today is a good day and a very sad day.”