GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 12: Eddie McGuire looks on during the round two AFL match between the Geelong Cats and the Fremantle Dockers at Simonds Stadium on April 12, 2015 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

The AFL has missed the mark with a typically weak response

The AFL has once again missed an opportunity to make a huge statement.

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Eddie McGuire, Danny Frawley and James Brayshaw’s disgusting comments regarding Caroline Wilson on Queen’s Birthday last Monday came across as misogynist, completely unacceptable and quite frankly just plain offensive.

Whether the comments were made with that intention or not, is irrelevant, as that it without doubt the way Wilson and many others perceived them.

“I reckon we should start the campaign for a one-person slide next year. Caroline Wilson. And I’ll put in 10 grand straight away, make it 20. And if she stays under, 50,” McGuire said on triple M radio.

“What do you reckon guys? Who else is up there? I know you’re in JB?”

“No, yep, Straight in,” Brayshaw said.

“I’ll actually jump in and make sure she doesn’t, I’ll hold her under, Ed,” Danny Frawley added.

“She’s like the black widow. She just sucks you in and gets you and you start talking to her and then bang! She gets you,” McGuire then finished with.

Threatening to drown another member of the public is vicious and a ridiculous joke to make about anyone. McGuire’s comments and those made by his fellow commentators about Wilson make light of domestic violence, a problem that is still hugely prevalent in Australian society. Again, whether intentional or not, these men must realise that that is the connotation and implication of their comments. It is simply not acceptable to bully a colleague or anyone for that matter, particularly in the manner in which they did.

One woman is killed nearly every week in Australia due to family violence. In 2015, seven in 10 women murdered in Australia, were victims of family violence.

It is certainly not something to be joked about and such comments could have huge implications and influence on the younger generation.

If the AFL wants to make a real stand and be at the forefront of increasing awareness of domestic violence, it should have sanctioned the people involved.

The League’s CEO Gillon McLachlan spoke to the media on Monday and condemned the comments.

“We can’t say that we as an industry have a commitment to making change if we don’t step up and call it out,” he said.

However, he stopped short of announcing any punishment for the trio.

The AFL should have banned McGuire, Brayshaw and Frawley from broadcasting on the game for a week.

It sounds radical, however, such a punishment would have made a huge statement and shown the country that the league is actually serious about the role women play in football and society.

“In the past we might have ignored the comments as part of the culture of footy. Well, it’s not good enough,” McLachlan said.

“We can’t say we are leading change if we don’t step up and call it out. Words and jokes have incredible power.

“We still have a long way to go. Our sport must lead.”

That’s right Gil, the AFL does have a long way to go.

It is one thing to talk a big game, but the AFL’s CEO in the end said a lot, without actually saying anything at all.

He re-iterated on several occasions that the game must be leaders on the issue, but failed to announce any future actions that would exemplify those statements.

McLachlan also said that McGuire’s apology on Monday morning on 3AW Radio, was sufficient.

“The women I’ve been listening and speaking to feel the apology was legitimate,” he said.

Guardian Australia Deputy Sport Editor summed McLachlan’s press conference up perfectly with his comments on Twitter.

While suspending McGuire, Frawley and Brayshaw from broadcasting on AFL matches is certainly a radical idea, it would no doubt display a clear message, that the AFL will not accept that kind of behaviour. It is also taking them out of the very forum that they abused with their comments.

Well done AFL, you have failed to properly handle and address a significant issue once again.


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  1. Pathetic article. Check what Neale Daniher said about Ed…to Ed…on the day of the big freeze. Should he be punished too? Or is it ok to think it but just not say it in a public forum….political correctness is going way way too far!

  2. Female “sports journalist” offended by male rivals comments while being quite jovial with her own counterparts who made same comments on 3AW! Hypocrisy thy name is feminism, thy name is Caroline Wilson!

  3. Caro bullied James Hird for the best part of 2 years.. As soon as a comment is made against a journo they can’t hack it.. Get out of the industry if your too weak as piss!!
    It’s about time Caro had a comment made against her!!

  4. If they’d said it about Sam Newman, Mark Robinson, Mark Maclure etc, no one would have given a stuff. But It was Caro… they’re naughty boys and must get a smack. Double standard- political correctness rubbish. Pathetic.

  5. Another loony left wing politically correct lump of garbage written by a self appointed member of the intelligentsia. Wilson is a rubbish journo and absolutely the worst in AFL circles. Whinges whenever the opportunity arises, and doesn’t mind heaping it on people when it suits her agenda. Hypocritical, self serving junk journos like Wilson deserve no respect.

  6. You can hate Eddie i have no problems with that. People forget the amount of charity work this guy does behind the seen. At the end of the day the guy did slide down the slide in the name of raising money for a great course.. .

  7. This is gender equality. The boys give each other shit in humor, you need to take it too if you want TRUE equality. To draw a line between this crap and domestic violence is offensive.

  8. What a load of dribble. The comments made were in no way “misogynist”. Yes they were viscous, however they were directed at a person who has continually attacked them on a personal and professional level. I don’t here you calling her sexist for her attacks on them. If she was of a race other than Caucasian you would be labelling them as racists. A white male can’t say anything against someone without there being some sort of hidden meaning or agenda. And they are never seen as the victim, always the perpetrator. Also you bring up stats about domestic violence and female victims however how many of these cases was the perpetrator a male. The rate of domestic violence in lesbian relationships is extremely high. By the way this has nothing to do with domestic violence or misogyny, it was simply an attack on a mutual enemy who was the instigator of a verbal war with all 3 of these people. Check the facts before you write a stupid article

  9. The afl is to scared to say.or do anything to the fat moron he gets away with a hell of a lot time for him to go as the morons running the afl house needs a change of new staff

  10. Caroline Wilson is a bully & a flog with a big mouth. I want to drown her everytime she speaks. If it was said about a guy there would be no uproar. This has NOTHING to do with violence against women.

  11. What were they supposed to do? Name a round after her or put him on the same sentence as the Bali 9? ffs give us a break, this beloved sport is becoming too soft and politically correct.

  12. This is such a farce. It has NOTHING to do with domestic violence, nor was it even a credible threat. It was a few football personalities showing their distaste for a journalist with whom they have an axe to grind. It was meant as tongue-in-cheek jest, and the feminazis need to stoptrying to make it more than it is. If it was so bad, why did it take a week to hit the headlines? The whole media in general needs to stop giving it more exposure. The exposure is what gives the whole thing inertia.

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