Western Bulldogs young gun Marcus Bontempelli knows that as an AFL player – albeit a 19-year-old who believes he’s still got a lot to learn about football – he’s seen by some as a role model.
Already, he’s shaping up as a fantastic AFL player, and an equally impressive exemplar when it comes to social issues.
“Being able to to hopefully use sport and AFL as a leverage point to make a difference is something I think I can do” – Marcus Bontempelli
“Being able to to hopefully use sport and AFL as a leverage point to make a difference is something I think I can do,” Bontempelli told Fox Footy’s AFL 360 on Wednesday night.
That’s why the young man known to many as simply ‘The Bont’ is proud to be throwing his support behind The Line, a social leadership campaign aimed at tackling the issue of violence against women.
“This is something I feel quite strongly about… I’ve reflected on my life and how I’ve been influenced by women, to date.”
Bontempelli lists his mum and his three sisters as those who have significantly shaped his views on the world. Now, he wants to help change the way many 12 to 20-year-olds view women.
“That’s probably the most important time in young people’s lives – it’s that stage where they’re forming attitudes and beliefs about [how they see] the world.
“For us as AFL players, to be able to produce the right message for kids and young people growing up, that it’s not okay to cross the line when it comes to women, that’s something where we’ve got to do everything we can to make a change.”