Statement attributed to AFLPA Acting CEO, Regan Bunny:

The AFL Players’ Association is disappointed at the homophobic language used by Lance Collard towards Williamstown players on Saturday.

Homophobia of any nature is offensive and unacceptable and detracts from creating a safe environment for LGBTIQA+ players and the community. There is no room for homophobia in any level of our game.

We have spoken to, and are supporting, Lance who has apologised and is remorseful for his words.

We have repeatedly called for greater transparency and consistency in relation to how the AFL sanctions players and have expressed our concerns that this work has not further progressed.

With multiple instances of homophobia occurring this season, the industry must work to consider the drivers of this behaviour and prioritise delivery of player education to raise awareness and understanding of homophobia and its impacts. It is clear that the approach of dealing harsher suspensions to players is not working.

The human rights of our members are an area of focus for the AFLPA, and the establishment of a joint Equality, Inclusion and Safety (EIS) Committee with the AFL is the right mechanism to progress work in this area.