AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan admitted he didn’t read the report on female referees and assaults until it leaked to the media.
AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan admitted he did not read the damning report on referees experiencing sexual harassment and abuse in sport until it leaked to the media.
Last week, the herald sun published the 62-page report “Girls and Women in Australian Football Umpiring: Understanding Registration, Participation and Retention,” which found that female referees have been subjected to a culture of sexual harassment from ground level through to highest elite in the game.
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The damning report was completed in August, but was only made public this month.
The AFL issued a statement in response, stating that it will act on the 11 key recommendations presented in the report.
But keep talking 3AWMcLachlan confessed that the PDF was “widely distributed” within the AFL but failed to reach his inbox.
“I (read) it now. I didn’t get it when he appeared in the media, “she said on Friday.
“The point that has been made is that it should have been made public and we recognized that.
“We commissioned the report, we put the report into action and somewhere in between it was not disclosed publicly.
“It was widely distributed, but not publicly disclosed and I think we recognized it should have been.”
The bombshell report raised the lid on the shocking treatment referees faced, including exclusion from selection, discrimination in the locker room and sexual harassment from spectators, coaches and fellow referees.
The report – made by the University of Sydney – interviewed 27 referees for their research on the participation of female referees – and some of the stories included in the report are truly shocking.
One female referee in the report said, “The worst part is with people not waiting for you to leave or resolve (in the locker room). The old or the old referees take off their clothes and give nothing at all ”.
Another referee said he suffered similar inappropriate behavior in the locker room.
“We understand we’re trying to have diverse men and women everywhere, but ultimately people still want their privacy changed, it’s pretty ridiculous that you have everyone in the same room, absolutely everyone. Just to get undressed, “she said.
Another junior referee tells the report that was given to her by a U11 coach: “I don’t want you to be a referee, you are a woman, you cannot be a referee. I want these guys to be refereed by a real referee “.
last week, Former Melbourne captain Garry Lyon criticized the AFL for seeming to hide the overwhelming report.
“It hurts your stomach when you read what some of these women have been through as they embark on their career in refereeing,” she told SEN.
“You can’t bury this stuff.
“You have to go public, so face it and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Females make up only 10% of referees nationwide and the AFL wants to increase that participation to 40% in the future.
AFL’s statement confirming the details of the report
We are committed to ensuring that women and girls of all ages can take part in our game in a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment, and while we have seen the number of girls and women playing soccer double since AFLW was introduced , we have not experienced similar growth in the ranks of referees. To better understand this trend, we commissioned a report to examine all the elements that lead girls and women to continue to be underrepresented in refereeing at all levels.
As part of the ‘Study on Girls’ and Women’ Referees in Australian Football, current and former referees were interviewed and provided valuable feedback on all the physical, cultural and environmental barriers that impacted the path for girls and women who refereed at the community and elite level. The report’s important findings and recommendations formed the basis for a number of initiatives that were included in the “Action Plan for the development of games for women and girls”, which is in its final stage of completion.
The plan’s initiatives are designed to increase the representation of women and girls in all parts of our game, from players to referees, coaches and administrators, and are aimed at ensuring a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment for women and girls, also to raise the number of female referees to 40%.
To achieve this growth, we will introduce a number of policy directives, including the development and publication of the “Guiding Principles for Equity in Community Football”, which will include initiatives such as nomination arbitration, access to multi-gender space facilities or shared, the creation of mentoring programs to accelerate the journey for women and girls and help achieve more gender-balanced leadership across all leagues and football clubs in the community.
The report has been an invaluable resource for our team in prioritizing key initiatives to accelerate the growth of women and girls taking up refereeing roles across the country and to ensure a safe and welcoming path for women and girls to pass through. from the AFL community and AFLW level.
Originally published as AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan’s extraordinary admission on the abuse report