What do you do when you are facing adversity after making an error?
“When you make mistakes, you put your hand up and own it and that’s what I’ve done,” Adelaide Crows player Taylor Walker said.
“I have to keep continuing to do the work. I think for me the only thing that is going to speak that loud is my actions.”
Walker has recently served a suspension for racist remarks he made towards an Indigenous player in a SANFL game last July.
The Broken Hill-born footballer is on an “ongoing” journey to educate himself and learn more about his hometown to gain a deeper understanding of its history and the country’s traditional owners.
Walker said part of his process has involved reaching out to people within the local community.
“I didn’t realise how little I knew about where I grew up,” he said.
“I’ve spoken to some important people in Broken Hill that I trust which I will continue to do.
“That’s just going to take time- things don’t happen overnight.”
Incidences like that can be a life-changing moment for some people and for those in the limelight, they can be unforgettable.
The 31-year-old is aware of that and this may be a piece of his life that people will remember forever.
“People are entitled to their opinion,” Walker said.
“I’ve learned to deal with it. I’m a resilient person and people can say what they want to say.”
The Crows forward expressed that he is focused on identifying every way he can improve his knowledge and affect those around him.
“I’m looking forward to what I can do not what’s happened,” Walker said.
“I’m trying to have a positive influence on the people around me and continue to educate myself.”
“I’ll educate myself until the day I die.”
Being in a good head space can only help that process.
Walker said support from his loved ones, including relatives in Broken Hill, has kept him driven and provided an honest outlook on life.
He spent time in the Silver City during the offseason connecting with people in his close circle.
“You don’t get through things like this without really close family,” Walker said.
“My wife has been outstanding. I’ve got two beautiful boys who have put everything in perspective and given me great balance.
“I’ve had great support from certain individuals from the footy club and just friends around me have been outstanding as well.”
The former captain is also mending the relationship with his teammates and voiced gratitude for how they have welcomed him back into the squad.
He returned in round four of the 2022 campaign in his side’s loss to Essendon last weekend.
“I have to do a fair bit of work to earn their trust and respect back but I think that’s ongoing,” Walker said.
“It’s never going to be ticked off one-hundred per cent and I understand that but I couldn’t have asked for more from my teammates.”
This year, Tex said he aims to play every game like his last and wants to be “the best father, husband and teammate.”
Do you think the relationship between you and the Indigenous community will ever be repaired?
“I can control what I can and I will continue to do what I think is the best way to do it,” Walker said.
“I’ll continue to do what I’m doing and everyone else can have their opinion on me.”