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Fox Footy reporter Tom Morris has been stood down following a week of drama (pictured)
Tom Morris will not return to Fox Sports after an internal investigation determined he ‘crossed a line’ in inappropriate WhatsApp conversations about a colleague.
Fox Sports Executive Director Steve Crawley released a statement on Friday which said the ‘unacceptable’ comments he made in two leaked chats would not be tolerated.
The clips, which are understood to have been recorded late last year, were originally shared in a private WhatsApp group before they were leaked on Thursday afternoon.
Morris was immediately stood down from his post as a Fox Sports reporter pending an internal investigation, which was concluded by Friday afternoon.
‘Our culture at Fox Sports is based on a respectful, inclusive environment and a fair go for all,’ Mr Crawley said.
‘While Tom’s journalism has made a valuable contribution to Fox Sports over the past seven years, the message we became aware of yesterday crossed the line. It was unacceptable.
‘We have the best in the business working at Fox Sports. We love what we do, and we have a reputation as a great place to work. The bottom line is we are committed to a work environment where everyone can come to work in the knowledge they are safe, respected and valued. We have zero-tolerance for anything less than that.’
Fox Footy journalist Tom Morris (pictured) was immediately stood down from his post as a Fox Sports reporter pending an internal investigation, which was concluded by Friday afternoon
The audio and video clips went viral within an hour of being shared on social media.
AFL boss Gil McLachlan also condemned the statements Morris made on Friday afternoon, describing them as ‘clearly unacceptable’.
‘I’ve just seen them in written form and clearly the comments from my reading of them were clearly unacceptable and Fox Sports have taken action,’ McLachlan said on Friday.
In the WhatsApp chat, several members of the conversation were making comments about a female colleague of Morris.
One of the members of the chat later revealed he was responsible for the audio clip becoming public after he sent the exchange to another mate.
He said his friend then shared the recording with several others, before one posted it online.
‘I’m obviously willing to cop it from you boys re this,’ the friend wrote to the WhatsApp group on Thursday night, obtained by Daily Mail Australia.
‘I honestly didn’t expect a message to one mate to circulate like this but I’ve well and truly learnt my lesson. It’s no excuse – I apologise.’
A second leaked clip heard Morris make disparaging comments about women, Asian people, black people and homosexuals.
This is the WhatsApp message a friend of Morris’s sent admitting that he leaked the audio