“Clearly we are sorry to Eddie and anyone who is suffering from that camp,” McLachlan said on Channel Seven.
“We’ve seen today how much it hurt Eddie and frankly some of the stuff that went on was a disgrace and we are hearing him and hear his pain and are sorry.”
The AFL said on Wednesday it would not re-open the investigation into the camp and had not shifted that position late on Thursday, saying it had made changes that improved governance and oversight of such camps.
Sloane admitted on Adelaide radio station 5AA he was in the same group as Betts when personal information the former forward had disclosed to the camp’s counsellors about his upbringing was yelled at him in front of those present. The incident where Betts was told he would be a “shit father” because he had been raised only by his mother was detailed in his book, The Boy from Boomerang Crescent.
However Sloane, who was not skipper when the camp was held, said he did not hear what was being said at the time.
“I was in that group. There was so much going on over the course of that. There was about 10 or 12 of us. There’s so much going on during that time that I suppose I didn’t pick up on it until Eddie mentioned it to us after. It is sad to think that’s what they used it for and it’s not OK,” Sloane told 5AA.
He said he went through a similar process as Betts on the camp, but the personal information used about him related to his football and nothing was said about his family.
“I won’t share the full details … mine was more around my footy. I’m not gonna dive right into it because it’s just stuff about my footy … Mine was not related to my family,” Sloane said.
He said the club and its leaders had numerous conversations in an attempt to overcome the fallout from the camp, but they could not find a way to resolve the issues.
“It was a really hard thing to manage because some guys found the camp boring. Some guys had a really horrible experience on the camp. Some guys enjoyed their experience on the camp. So that’s what made this so hard to manage. We had so many conversations about how could we try and how do we come out of this camp with a stronger group?” Sloane said.
“And that was probably the other reason why there wasn’t a lot of things shared really in the end because there was so much vulnerability shared throughout different parts on the camp. We certainly sought out some apologies from the camp directors at the time. You look back at it now and you put your ‘captain hindsight’ hat on and of course when you hear the stories like Eddie’s you would have loved to do some things better.”
Sloane also stood by his comments post-camp in which he said he had come back a better husband, father and son because of the camp, relaying a task in which he sat in an “honouring chair” while teammates told him why they loved him . He said he took that experience back to his own family, telling his mum and dad why he loved them.