AFLW Star Erin Phillips Defends Marriage Equality As A “Basic Human Right”

Adelaide Crows gun/arguably one of the best team sports athletes Australia has ever produced Erin Phillips might have just put the finishing touches on an incredible and historic inaugural AFLW season, and she might already be prepping to tackle the rigours of a full WNBA season back in the US, but she’s also got her hands extremely full at home thanks to a pair of barely 5-month old twins she has with wife Tracy Gahan.
The AFL women’s league took all of about 3 days to do what the men’s version of the game has yet to achieve in the 120-odd year history of top-level football: embrace an openly LGBTQI player.
So it’s not a huge shock – a disappointment sure, but not a shock – that photos and footage of Phillips embracing and thanking her wife as she accepted the league’s first ever Best & Fairest award managed to rustle the jimmies of the more “traditional” male-dominated corners of the football media.
Phillips, as it turns out, is more than happy to be a trail blazer in the push for marriage equality in Australia.
Phillips and Gahan, who were previously teammates while playing for the Adelaide Lightning, married in the US where such a thing is legal and, according to Phillips, not that big of a deal.
An interview on Fox Footy program Open Mike scheduled to air tonight reveals that Phillips is steadfast in the belief that marriage is a “basic human right,” and that Australia is needlessly bogged down in a decision that, realistically, should not that be as big a deal as what those who oppose it are turning it into.

“Gay marriage is not legal in this country. Tracy and I have probably opened up more conversations.”

“I think it needs to be legal, and not from a selfish point of view, but from a basic human rights points of view. It is (legal) in America.”

“I find it really funny when I came back home to Australia and it is a big deal, because in America, it isn’t a big deal. We are a country that should be so far in advance of this, and the fact that we are still here in 2017 still debating it… is disappointing, especially because the right to get married in my country wasn’t available.”

Phillips also stressed the need for young LGBTQI footballers to learn to be comfortable with who they are, and that she would gladly operate as a role model and mentor in the future.

“My advice would be ‘be yourself, just own who you are and don’t let outside influences affect your happiness’.”

“There are a lot of people who are worried about what other people think of them. Tracy and I don’t worry about that kind of stuff.”

“I am very comfortable in my own skin and I am comfortable in my own marriage. If we can be role models for girls who are gay or straight… in a positive way, how good is that.”

In a single season of AFL football, Phillips captured a premiership medallion, a Grand Final MVP, a league Best & Fairest, and an AFL Players Association MVP award. No player, male or female, has accomplished that feat in one year previously.

Phillips has indicated that she will sign on to play with Adelaide again for season 2018.
The ‘Open Mike‘ interview airs tonight at 8:30pm on Fox Footy.

Source: Herald Sun.
Photo: Michael Wilson, AFL Media/Getty.