White Ribbon Wants AFL Stars Accused Of Violence Against Women Sidelined

In the light of Richmond star Dustin Martin allegedly threatening to stab a woman with a chopstick at a Melbourne restaurant, the head of the White Ribbon Australia has said AFL players accused of violence against women should be stood down until their cases are resolved. 

Libby Davies said the league had a responsibility to uphold their stance on the issue, and that “it’s up to the AFL to make sure they’re walking the talk.” 

Martin is claimed to have threatened to stab a female restaurant patron with a chopstick, but has participated in club training sessions despite the matter being handed to police. Even then, the league ran an in-house investigation into the matter for four days before turning their info to the authorities. 

The unnamed woman at the centre of the incident said “he reacted extremely angrily… standing over me physically, it was extremely intimidating.”
Davies says the AFL, as part of Australia’s typically macho identity, needs to lead by example on violence against women, and that “the men in sporting codes are heroes to many young men across Australia.” FWIW, the AFL has responded to the issue in other ways; a “Respect And Responsibility” section forms part of their website, which also shows off their White Ribbon affiliation. 
As for putting players accused of violence against women on the sideline until they’re in the clear? Well, “clubs and the AFL must make a decisive stance of zero tolerance of violence against women… it’s a big ask, but it goes along with the territory,” Davies says.
Story: Fairfax.
Photo: Adam Trafford / AFL Media / Getty.