SEN radio host Dermott Brereton is being criticised after questioning on air whether gay players in the AFL Women’s have been “grooming” their teammates.
The former Hawthorn star raised the allegations during an interview with AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan on Saturday’s episode of football program Crunch Time.
After commending McLachlan’s response to the highly reported kiss between Adelaide co-captain Erin Phillips and her wife at the AFLW’s end-of-season award ceremony, Brereton continued:
“In that area, I have heard of – and I hope it is not true – but I have heard of situations within that women’s league of grooming. Has that come to your desk? Have you heard about it?”
"No," Gillon replied. "I haven't had one discussion about someone with an issue or an example. It's never been raised with me."
Gillon added that the league had done the best it could to "prepare the environment" for all players.
"We had experts coming in and talking about that and working on the culture and stuff leading into the season. So we tried to prepare for any potential risk around that," he said.
"But I haven't heard of one example, I haven't had it raised with me."
Erin Phillips is a Kick arse woman. Post continues...
Brereton's question has attracted criticism from listeners, many of whom have expressed their concern via social media that the Crunch Time host failed to substantiate his allegations.
When Mamamia approached Brereton for comment, the radio host said, "I have heard from three different sources that it [grooming] has happened".
"I do not know myself, but given that the three separate sources are all working in the AFL 'industry' the question needed to be asked.
"Gillon responded in the negative and so from my viewpoint the issue has been laid to rest.
"Personally, I am glad that these rumors are incorrect."
SEN has not yet responded to Mamamia's request for comment.