No. 1 pick praised for responding to Blue’s ‘your club is crap’ jibe, report reveals sexism facing female referees

Former North Melbourne great David King has praised the club’s number one choice Jason Horne-Francis after a tussle with Carlton’s Jack Silvagni in the Kangaroos’ 50-point loss on Saturday night.

The Roos went seven to two in the third quarter at Marvel Stadium to lose control of the game, with Horne-Francis’ clash with Silvagni being one of the few instances of a fight.

Horne-Francis initially contested a heavy bump on teammate Tarryn Thomas, before things boiled over when he picked up Silvagni himself late to start a fight.

Silvagni appeared to tell Horne-Francis “your team is shit” during the trade, with footage of the incident quickly going viral.

Speaking on Fox Footy’s First crackKing said he was “so proud” of Horne-Francis’ spirit that night and wished his teammates could follow his example.

“He plays with anger, he plays with a level of physicality that is unmatched by others,” King said.

“Who are the players who come to protest because it is a member of your family, one of your guys who falls? A guy who has been there for five minutes comes and fights.

“He doesn’t mind a bit, I love it and wish he had friends.”

As Horne-Francis conceded a free kick in his trade with Silvagni, King excused him as a freshman ‘defending his footy club’ – and implored the rest of the squad to be more aggressive.

“I was so proud of this young man that he did this. I wanted to see where the rest of the leadership group was. Where are the others? He asked.

“[Jy] Simpkin’s in there, that’s great, but where are the big bodies coming in and flying? Make a statement for your soccer club.

Fellow panelist and former St Kilda great Leigh Montagna agreed, saying the seventh player had shown a “real ticker” in the stoush.

The kid was frustrated – he wanted to win… he played seven games, most of the seven players should be worried about getting a kick,” he said.

“But he was frustrated that suddenly that winnable game was gone.”

On Silvagni’s jibe at the Kangaroos, King admitted the Blues were ‘probably right’.

“I agree with Jack Silvagni, he has a right to say what he said and we all know what he said and he’s probably right at the moment,” King said.

“I was a bit disappointed that he [Horne-Francis] had no friends.

Kangaroos' Jason Horne-Francis looks dejected after a loss.

Kangaroos’ Jason Horne-Francis looks dejected after a loss. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Leaked report reveals faces of rampant sexism among female referees

A leaked report on the participation of female referees in Australian rules football by the AFL revealed the dire situation facing women in the industry at all levels.

The report, released Monday by the sun heraldrevealed numerous incidents of sexual harassment, verbal objectification and abuse across Australia.

Research conducted by the University of Sydney in 2020-2021 was used for the 65-page report and includes testimony from 27 female and non-binary referees in four focus groups in Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and New Wales of the South / ACT.

They reveal instances of inappropriate touching and verbal harassment from other umpires and experienced spectators at the state and lower levels, with many of those interviewed opting out of officiating as a result.

“I used to get nude messages that other referees sent to me. And the referees during games would touch me inappropriately, like when we referee together and things like that. So that’s what made me leave this level of refereeing [state league] because I thought it was too inappropriate and I didn’t know what to do at the time,” one story read.

Another describes hearing “a bunch of guys talking about my boobs in practice one night.”

I was walking up the stairs, and I heard them literally say “Oh my god, did you see [NAME REDACTED] boobs?’ And I turned around and looked at them, and I was like are you serious? Like what are you going to say? Is that what you say in practice? And it kinda scared me to be like god, how do you say like a band behind my back?

Others report instances of racism from spectators, with one saying: ‘When I was running and I was a frontier
referee, a lot of people were saying “Run n—-r, run!” And they often shout that from the side of the thing.

“Footy is a very white background and I’m very aware of that…my parents…they’re like, ‘Yeah! Go join the footy!’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah!’ And then you hear those really ugly words and you’re even like, ‘What’s going on?’

Eleni Glouftsis is the only current female referee at AFL level, having made her debut in 2017.

speaking on SEN breakfastformer great Garry Lyon criticized the AFL for not making the report public.

“You can’t bury this stuff,” Lyon said.

“That’s why I asked the question why it wasn’t released because you need to make it public so then we fix it and make sure it never happens again.

“Maybe they turn around and say, well, if it’s public, like it is now, then those who were inclined to get involved may not be; but I don’t think that’s the answer.

“I think the answer is to tackle it and fix it.”

The league has currently cracked down hard on referee dissent in the AFL, in a bid to address a serious lack of referee involvement at lower levels.

AFL field referee Eleni Glouftsis.  (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

AFL field referee Eleni Glouftsis. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Demons announce name change to Sir Doug Nicholls Round

Melbourne will take the name Narrm Football Club in the Sir Doug Nicholls round in Round 11 of the AFL season.

Narrm is the Aboriginal name for the city of Melbourne, with the club having pledged to honor the traditional owners of the land with a first historic gesture.

Former Demons player Aaron Davey, of Aboriginal descent, said he was “extremely proud” of the club’s decision.

“Just being recognized on these two rounds is always special for our friends and family back home,” he said.

“We can wear an Aboriginal Guernsey and now be called an Aboriginal name like Narrm, I think that’s really special.

“There will be little kids here watching us play, asking their parents what the name means and it will spark conversations.

“The ripple effect from that is huge and the only way we can improve is through education, teaching and awareness, so I think that’s another step on the road to acceleration of that.”

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