Australian Football League steps in to mediate and educate after local club fails to investigate vilification claims adequately
A transgender footballer playing for the Australian Football League (AFL) was allegedly called ‘it’ and told she has AIDS by opposition players during a game.
Kirsti Miller took to social media to speak out about the insults but instead of backing her up, her club South Broken Hill women’s team reprimanded her for publicizing it.
The dressing down took place in changing rooms before a game against the same team whose players Miller said insulted her, prompting her to leave in tears and drop-out of the match, ABC reports.
‘I’ve had absolutely no comeback from the League or my club – no support at all,’ Miller said to ABC News.
Since ABC broke the news, AFL has criticized South Broken Hill’s handling of Miller’s complaint and ordered a mediation between the player and the club.
‘The AFL is committed to providing an inclusive sporting environment in which all participants are treated with dignity and respect,’ said a statement from AFL New South Wales-Australian Capital Territory (NSW-ACT).
The statement said the incident in Broken Hill Women’s Competition had ‘not been adequately resolved at a local level’ and so they initiated a ‘mediation and education process’.
Miller said she hopes the League’s intervention will lead to better treatment of transgender players in the future.
‘What I’d really like to see come out of this whole situation is no punishment for anyone, just education and procedures put in place so that instances like this in the future will be managed far better and I want AFL NSW-ACT – and Broken Hill in particular – to come out as world leaders in positive change for the GLBT community,’ she said.
On Facebook Miller added that she ‘can’t wait to get back on the footy field’ and thanked the Broken Hill community for their support.