Former Adelaide player Josh Jenkins has revealed his upbringing was used to abuse him on the disastrous pre-season camp which tore the club apart following the 2017 grand final defeat.
An emotional Jenkins read a long statement on SEN on Friday, opening up on the controversial leadership program the club was involved in during that period.
The 33-year-old said he was assured that nothing regarding his childhood would be brought up on the camp – Jenkins was raised by his non-biological grandmother and had little relationship with his parents.
“Each player was scolded with abuse and physicality so they’d be physically and emotionally worn out,” Jenkins said.
“This is where I’m happy to try and explain why some rituals were confronting and some were ‘nothing to see here’ and easily moved on from for others.
“In my view, the boys who had had a more ‘normal’ or traditional upbringing without any real trauma or tragedy in their lives had very little to be poked and prodded about apart from the general back and forth about being a better team mate and person.”
Jenkins said he and others, like teammate Eddie Betts, who had non-traditional childhoods became targets for more cutting jabs.
“Those – like me, Eddie and perhaps others – had experienced different things that were more raw when focused on – especially when we’d been assured, essentially promised, nothing like this would be raised,” he added.
“I specifically asked for assurance pre-camp that nothing regarding my childhood would be raised or used on the camp to spur me on or ‘break me down’.
“It’s my belief this promise was broken. And I’m not certain I’ll ever forgive those involved for that.”
Jenkins said after that particular ritual, players were asked to role play what they would say to loved ones regarding what went on at the camp.
Of the camp as a whole, Jenkins said: “It’s the worst idea I’ve ever witnessed or been a part of in my adult life.”
Jenkins continued, describing how the club completely fell apart following the camp.
He said at one point, excluding the club’s Indigenous players while the rest of the group continued was discussed in favour of abandoning the program.
Jenkins also said the club’s welfare manager was intentionally excluded from the program, the club signed confidentiality agreements on behalf of players and a report from the club doctor was buried following the camp.
Listen to the full statement below.
Jenkins’ comments come following more revelations about the camp in Eddie Betts’ autobiography.
The AFL and the Crows have this week apologised to Betts over his treatment on the camp, while the AFLPA have said they will reach out to players involved.