Last night, AFL great Barry Hall was fired from Triple M’s AFL commentary team just hours into the broadcast.
Hall and his co-commentators should have been talking about football.
They should have been discussing the night’s upcoming AFL game between the Western Bulldogs and Geelong.
Instead, Hall made a crude, vile, and utterly obscene comment which had no place in last night’s broadcast.
A comment which ultimately sexualised the pregnancy of a woman – the pregnancy of one of Hall’s co-commentators wives, Leigh Montagna’s wife Erin.
Hall made a rape joke, insinuating that Erin’s obstetrician acted in a sexually inappropriate way.
His co-commentators, fellow AFL great Nathan Brown, journalist Damien Barrett and commentator Mark Howard laughed along with the ‘joke’.
Hall was sacked virtually immediately from Triple M and an apology was issued on air.
He did not finish his shift.
But although we commend Triple M for their swift action in sacking Hall, it comes with a slice of hypocrisy.
For there is a man in AFL commentary who has done much more than just make inappropriate comments.
A man with a history of sexual assault.
A man with a history of domestic violence.
A man who once kicked a policewoman in the mouth.
And yet no one blinks an eye.
That man is Wayne Carey.
Many people remember Wayne Carey for his affair.
The former North Melbourne and Adelaide AFL player slept with his teammate and best friend’s wife in 2002 before running away to Las Vegas.
But Carey’s affair is the least of our worries.
For over the last two decades, Carey has committed multiple, yes, multiple counts of violence against women.
In 1997, Carey pleaded guilty to indecent assault. Intoxicated, he grabbed a woman’s breast on a Melbourne street, reportedly telling her ‘why don’t you get a bigger pair of tits.’
In late 2006, Carey’s girlfriend at the time Kate Neilson reported Carey for domestic violence, alleging he had punched her in the face.
In 2007, Neilson was glassed by Carey, leaving her with cuts to her mouth and neck in Miami.
When officers arrived at the scene, Carey was so belligerent he kicked a female officer in the teeth and elbowed another in the face.
At the time, Carey was fired from his commentary job with the Nine network.
But now, Carey, who was inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame in 2010, sits alongside the country’s top commentators, working for Channel 7 and appearing on Triple M.
He even sat front and centre on Channel 7’s panel on White Ribbon Night, of all nights.
Triple M made the right decision by sacking Hall.
Their decision is commendable.
But if we’re taking a stand against degrading and harming women, why is Wayne Carey still on our televisions every week?
The AFL have made no secret of their plans to champion women and to take violence against women seriously.
But as long as Wayne Carey is on our televisions and on our airwaves – it’s all for nothing.