North Melbourne say the expectations of being the only Sudanese-born AFL-listed player might have contributed to banned rookie Majak Daw breaking team rules.
The Kangaroos on Wednesday suspended the 195cm ruckman indefinitely for breaching the team's rehabilitation protocols.
Daw is recovering from minor knee surgery. The 20-year-old will train with VFL affiliate Werribee Tigers until further notice, the club said.
North chief of football Donald McDonald said the club's leadership group had met Daw, who is yet to play an AFL game.
"Sure the club's disappointed but it's the bigger picture," McDonald told a media conference.
"A guy who might have been a little bit more experienced might be a little bit sharper in a few of the areas."
McDonald declined to answer questions about whether Daw had problems with alcohol or his attitude.
"He just has to satisfy the leadership group that he's on the right track and he understands where they're coming from," McDonald said.
"He's a young bloke. He's had an enormous amount of pressure put on him and some high expectations within the community.
"He's a North Melbourne boy and we'll support him 100 per cent."
Kangaroos chief executive Eugene Arocca said Daw would learn his lesson and emerge a better player and better person.
"As a result of those breaches, which we're not going to go into for very good reason I would have thought, he has accepted the penalty and, as a result of that, he has to now work his way back in," Arocca said.
"He's a young man under a lot of pressure and therefore, from that point of view, to go into the details of the reasons behind this would be unfair to him."
Daw arrived in Australia from Sudan in 2003.
He says he was deeply hurt by the racial taunts of a spectator during a VFL match in June 2011 when Daw was playing for Werribee against Port Melbourne at Port's TEAC Oval.
The fan was evicted from the ground.
"For 20 minutes, I didn't want to be out there," Daw told Melbourne radio 3AW in 2011.
"He made me feel really small. I can't dwell on what he said."
Daw's suspension overshadowed North's "Box On" announcement which was designed to promote their debt-reduction campaign.
Club great Glenn Archer, who retired in 2007, went two rounds with IBF middleweight world champion Daniel Geale at Kensington Boxing Gym.
Arocca said the club had wiped $500,000 from a $5 million debt in an eight-week campaign over Christmas.
"We'd like to think we'll get to a million reasonably quickly but we won't do it without the support of our members," he said.
Have I missed a step here? What breach are they talking about?
Re: ~~Official AFL 2012 Discussion Thread ~~ ft. GWS
More Hawthorn supporters? They're fucking everywhere. This is bullshit. Where are the other Geelong supporters?
Lewis had a really good preseason last year, but didn't really make the most of it. He found himself playing well as a negative type forward late last year though, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him play that role well every now and then again this season.