Aussie rules really is softer than rugby

The longstanding rivalry between rugby and Australian Rules football is extending to how puritanically “offended” each code can be by the behaviour of players and fans. Just when you thought Rugby Australia had plumbed the depths of self-righteous political correctness, the AFL says, “Hold my skinny soy latte”.

Not only is the AFL trying to resurrect the sorry saga of Adam Goodes – insisting, against all evidence, that fans were “racist” for booing the former Swans star – but now they are going after fans on behalf of the follically-challenged.

A fan was booted from Marvel [Stadium] during half-time of the Blues’ win over the Lions in relation to comments he made towards umpire Matthew Nicholls as the official left the playing arena at the long break.

Wow, whatever he said must have been pretty horrible. Racism? Homophobia? Collingwood supporter?

A man named “Frankie” claiming to be the person evicted, spoke to 3AW after the match on Saturday…”All I said was ‘You can’t call the ball one-handed, you bald-headed flog,’ and then he’s just pretty much stamped his hand on the side of the wall there, pointed to a security guard and sort of chucked me.

That would surely rank as one of the least offensive comments I’ve ever heard at an AFL game. Has the AFL really gone so soft?

“There were security guards standing pretty close to me, and they heard everything as well, and as I was being escorted to the back of the ground they said ‘there is nothing we can do, this is management policy’.”

“I got kicked out for watching a game of football, and I actually held my tongue … I was pretty annoyed.”

The AFL issued a statement on Sunday, providing an update on the situation.

“The AFL confirms Marvel Stadium security and police evicted a patron during the Carlton v Brisbane Lions match on Saturday afternoon. At the conclusion of round 12, the AFL will review all of the available information and security report to assess if any further action should be taken.”

I’d suggest that the only appropriate action is that the AFL apologise for their ridiculous overreaction, take a teaspoon of cement, and harden up.

The incident follows a three-match ban handed down to a Richmond cheer squad member over abuse directed towards an umpire, the exact nature of which was disputed.

Carlton’s cheer squad was also recently investigated about the banging of a drum. There had been an initial belief that the AFL was investigating comments in which an umpire was labelled a “wanker”.


At this rate, croquet matches will be more edgy than an AFL game. Somewhere between the opening smoking ceremony, the gay pride parade, and the broadcast list of apologies to everyone who’s ever been offended by anything they might even remember to play a game of football.