A Sexual Harassment Scandal for the AFL

A senior figure for the AFL club is currently being investigated for a complaint about sexual harassment.

The Sunday Herald Sun has revealed that the club received a complaint about this man’s behaviour towards a woman and the club, following the appropriate procedures for something like this, then forwarded the complaint on to the AFL. The League has confirmed that the complaint has been received.

The Horrorshow that 2017 Has Been

Punters who enjoy the online roulette NZ has to offer will be forgiven for keeping their eyes trained on the spinning wheel as they try to ignore yet another man in authority being investigated for inappropriate behaviour towards a woman! 2017 has been full of stories like this one, ranging from Harvey Weisenstein in terms of male-on-female aggression, right on through to Kevin Spacey, who has allegedly had a number of very inappropriate interactions with underage men.

Apparently the Official Welcomes the Investigation

A spokesperson for the AFL confirmed that the club had received the complaint under the Respect and Responsibility Policy, which the club wants investigated. It involves allegations of sexual harassment, and the AFL stated that it has noted that the person against whom the allegations have been made not only strongly denied it, but welcomed an investigation, and has pledged to fully cooperate.

Several Resignations from the AFL So Far

The Herald Sun revealed this week that a male member of staff at the Docklands HQ for the AFL was forced to hand in his resignation after a number of female colleagues accused him of sexually harassing them. And Simon Lethlean, the former manager of football operations, as well as Richard Simkiss, Commercial Manager, both resigned in July after they separately indulged in wholly unsuitable relationships with female members of the AFL staff.

2016 Saw the AFL Update its Respect and Responsibility Policy

Following an external review this year, the AFL updated the tenets outlining its Respect and Responsibility policy. The revised policy now includes new guidelines regarding how complaints from women affected by harassment should be handled.

The policy was put under the spotlight after a nude photo scandal erupted, one which involved Nathan Broad, the Richmond Premiership player. Broad got suspended for three weeks after he shared a photo of a topless woman wearing a premiership medallion without her consent. The picture went viral subsequent to Richmond’s historic win.

AFL General Manager of Inclusion and Social Policy Tanya Hosch stated when the new policy was launched that the League has had a history of being inconsistent when responding to the complaints women have made. She said that what had emerged in the research was that it was difficult for clubs to deal with issues without some degree of conflict of interest emerging if the complaint lands with the clubs. She further stated at the time that clubs knew that they would not be able to manage complaints themselves, and noted that there is an appetite in the industry to do better than it has done so far.