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Ex-player Joel Wilkinson has accused the Australian Football League of racism and said he plans to lodge a claim with the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Wilkinson Logan Paulsen Jersey , who was born in Sydney and is of Nigerian descent, played 26 matches in the top-flight national league for the Gold Coast Suns from 2011 to 2013.

"I'm here because I won't be silenced anymore and what has happened has been a continuous breach of human rights," Wilkinson said while reading from a statement on Thursday. "I have suffered extreme racism during my time in the AFL and post my career."

Wilkinson, who had unsuccessful tryouts at cornerback with the NFL's Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants, said he was racially abused by an opposing player during his first AFL game for Gold Coast in 2011.

The following year, he said was racially abused by a supporter of the Collingwood club during a match in Melbourne.

He didn't get another contract after leaving the Suns after the 2013 season, although he did feature in a "Making A Stand" video produced by the AFL's media department in 2014 where he discussed the devastating impact racism had on his career. The video was part of the AFL's 2014 club education program, which the league said was designed "to promote safe, welcoming and inclusive environments for everyone involved in football."

Other players, including Sydney Swans star Adam Goodes, who has Aboriginal heritage and has won an Australian of the Year honor for his work against racism, have been the target of a racist slurs while playing in the top level of the league.

Wilkinson's lawyer Will Barsby said two other former players had made contact following Wilkinson's recent accusations against the league Jatavis Brown Jersey , but didn't identify the players and said it was unclear whether the two also wanted to take legal action.

Barsby said Wilkinson lost his place at the Suns because he became too much trouble.

"He was labelled as a grandstander ... Joel experienced much racism during his time (in the AFL) and that has been documented publicly," Barsby said. "That became a problem and like any workplace, sometimes an employer doesn't want to keep that perceived problem child around."

The AFL issued a statement saying it respected "a person's right to pursue claims through the legal system", while noting it was sorry Wilkinson had been racially abused during his time as a footballer.

"We will continue to work with Joel to resolve this matter," the AFL statement said.

Australian rules was developed in the late 1850s and has similarities to Ireland's Gaelic football, but uses an oval-shaped ball and teams comprising 18 players score points by kicking the ball between four upright posts at each end of the field.

The Victorian Football League was formed in 1896 and eventually became the Australian Football League when the competition expanded across the country. It remains the only professional Australians Rules league in the world.

Wilkinson had a background in track and field before taking up Aussie rules later in high school. He was a member of the Suns squad when the club first joined the AFL in 2011.

Hey, here’s something we haven’t heard before.

The NBA playoffs are wide open.

At perhaps no other time in the league’s history have so many teams gone into the postseason with a real shot at hoisting the trophy at the end of this two-month grind.

From the top seeds in Houston and Toronto, to the old stalwarts in Golden State and Cleveland, to the brash up-and-comers in Philadelphia and Minnesota, there are potential storylines galore and no real way to predict how it all may shake out.

”We’ve got a chance,” said LeBron James, who will be seeking his eighth straight trip to the finals. ”That’s all you can ask for.”

For pretty much the NBA’s entire history Ronnie Stanley Jersey , there’s been little reason to tune in for the playoffs until they got to the finals. No wonder Charles Barkley became so enamored with the NHL version of the postseason – that’s a sport that actually doles out some real drama once the regular season is over.

The NBA?

Yawn.

Over the last four decades, a top-seeded team has claimed 28 championships. All but one of the remaining titles went to teams seeded second or third going into the postseason – and even several of those were clearly the best team (see: the 2012 Miami Heat with their Big Three of James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh; the 2001 and 2002 Los Angeles Lakers featuring Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal; the 1993 Chicago Bulls claiming their third straight title led by Michael Jordan).

Looking a little deeper over that same 40-year span, and you’ll find only five teams lower than a No. 3 seed that lost in the finals. Such dominance by a handful of dynasties and superteams has largely rendered the early rounds of the playoffs a moot point, a mere coronation on the way to the inevitable matchup at the end.

This year, it makes sense to tune in right from the start.

At the risk of getting things totally wrong, here’s a few predictions for these most uncertain of playoffs:

ROCKETS‘ TOUGH ROAD

Houston posted the league’s best record (65-17), and it’s hard to bet against a team that has James Harden. But the Rockets are facing a tough opening-round series against Minnesota, which broke a 14-year playoff drought with a dramatic overtime victory on the final day of the regular season . If the Timberwolves can ride that momentum – and it’s entirely possible, with Jimmy Butler coming back from a knee injury – they could make things real interesting. The Rockets will be without a valuable rotation player, Luc Mbah a Moute , who sustained a shoulder injury this week in a meaningless game. Assuming they get past Minnesota Randy Moss Jersey , the Rockets could be derailed in the second round by the Oklahoma City Thunder, a perplexing squad that has pretty much spent all season trying to figure out how to mesh the immense talents of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. They seemed to figure it out late in year, winning 11 of their last 16 games – with the five losses by a total of 13 points. The Thunder could be the surprise team that emerges from the loaded West.

DEFENDING CHAMPS

The Golden State Warriors have been to the finals three years in a row, winning titles in both 2015 and last season, and they certainly have the talent to make it back despite a less-than-dominating regular season that prompted coach Steve Kerr at one point to call out their effort as “pathetic.” Steph Curry will probably miss the opening round with a knee injury, but the Warriors should get by a fading San Antonio Spurs squad that will likely be without ailing Kawhi Leonard for the entire series. Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson give the defending champs plenty of firepower, even without Curry. The Warriors should at least make it back to the conference final, where chances are either the Rockets or OKC will be waiting.

PHILLY’S MOMENTUM

There is no more intriguing team than the Philadelphia 76ers, who just two seasons ago went 10-72. This year, they became the first team in NBA history to close the regular season on a 16-game winning streak Jarius Wright Jersey , surging to the No. 3 seed in the East . If Joel Embiid comes back faster than expected from a fractured orbital bone, Philadelphia could do some real damage in the East. Look for the Sixers to beat the Heat in the opening round, leading to what could be a very favorable matchup against the injury ravaged Boston Celtics in Round 2. The 76ers should be a year or two away from being a real championship contender. Then again, look what’s happened in Philly: The Eagles won their first Super Bowl championship and Villanova claimed the national title in college hoops. Maybe the precocious 76ers will follow their lead, far sooner than anyone could’ve predicted.

DON’T FORGET THE KING

James has been to the finals seven years in a row – four times with the Heat, three more since returning to Cleveland. The Cavaliers are only a No. 4 seed after enduring a season of dysfunction, but the King is ready to take this team on his back. At 33, James has been as dominant as ever , and he has a way of flipping the switch to an even higher level in the playoffs. He’s still the guy you start with if building a championship-ready roster.

Who knows?

Maybe we’ll get a Cavaliers-Warriors final for the fourth year in a row.

At least it would be a bit of a surprise this time.

Paul Newberry is a sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at pnewberry(at)ap.org or at  Authentic Womens Jeremy Kerley Jersey