AFLPA STATEMENT: Sanction Consistency

Statement attributed to AFLPA CEO, Paul Marsh:

“The AFLPA notes the AFL’s sanction of Port Adelaide player Jeremy Finlayson for his use of homophobic language against Essendon on Friday night.

“Jeremy’s words were unacceptable, hurtful, and have no place in the game or society. We acknowledge the impact these situations have and support the opportunity for further education, understanding and behavioural change, along with an appropriate sanction.

“However, we have fundamental concerns about this and historical AFL outcomes that result in discrepancies when sanctioning players in comparison to officials.

“We believe the AFL is consistently inconsistent and there are double standards in its approach to dealing with players compared to others on behavioural matters.

“This issue highlights the lack of clarity on how the AFL handles these situations and we want this to be the catalyst for an urgent review of the sanctioning framework.

“If this type of conduct is a three-week sanction for a player, it should be for everyone involved in the game and this should be clear to everyone in the industry upfront rather than the open-ended approach that is currently in place.

“I have expressed the AFLPA’s concerns directly with Andrew Dillon, and we are seeking an urgent review of the AFL’s sanctioning framework.”