Australian footy club under investigation over alleged 'blackface' Mad Monday photo
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A local Australian rugby league club is under investigation after a photo of their Mad Monday celebrations was posted onto social media.
The Daily Mail reports the Highfields Eagles Rugby League Club in Toowoomba, Queensland threw a party to mark the end of their season.
Players dressed up in all sorts of costumes, however two allegedly came dressed as Michael Jordan and Usain Bolt, and they did so with 'blackface'.
A photo of the celebrations was posted onto the club's Facebook page, however it was quickly condemned by the club's followers and was quickly deleted.
A spokesperson for the Highfields Eagles Rugby League Club has issued a statement.
"The club is aware of the image and the allegations and is in communication with Toowoomba Rugby League to discuss the appropriate course of action," they said, as per the MailOnline.
The club is now under investigation. Toowoomba Rugby League chairman Joe Hannant said they will be looking into the club's activities that day.
"The TRL has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to inappropriate behaviour of any nature," he said.
“We are aware of this alleged incident and have started an investigation.
“We are currently in the process of collecting all the necessary information needed so that we can best determine the appropriate course of action.”
The photo has sparked outrage in the local community. South west Queensland Indigenous community leader Lizzie Adams told The Chronicle: "I really don’t know what to say anymore.
“With all that has been going on lately, when you look and think about the current environment, how does this even happen?
“Even if that is your favourite athlete or player, why would a non-Indigenous person dress up like that.
“It’s completely inappropriate and very insensitive.”
Indigenous Toowoomba Rugby League player Matt Marshall also told the news outlet that it's clear racial education is sorely needed in the region.
“It’s disappointing. You’d like to think they didn’t realise it was the wrong thing to do,” he said.
“It’s not about raining on anyone’s parades or trying to ruin Mad Monday (but) painting your skin brown or black isn’t on.
“I know a lot of people don’t understand why and that’s because it’s always swept under the rug.”
Blackface is the process of painting a person's face with makeup 'to imitate the appearance of a black person'.
The racist act is associated with minstrel shows from the 1830s until the mid 20th century.
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