During a football lunch on Thursday, former AFL coach and player Mick Malthouse insisted that Aussie rules is a “man’s game”. He further claimed that as such, women who want to play the game should do so under modified rules to avoid injury.
Moana Hope, a former Collingwood AFLW player who is now with North Melbourne, was sitting on the panel with Malthouse when he made the sexist remark, and subsequently stormed out of the event.
Hope later posted on her Instagram Stories that she was “embarrassed, ashamed, humiliated [and] disgusted just to say the least” about Malthouse’s comments.
“I won’t sit down and take that,” she continued.
“I love OUR game and I will never, ever let anyone tell me or any girl that we don’t belong or deserve to pull this jumper on at this level.”
After posting to Instagram, Hope told The Herald Sun yesterday: “He said that AFL was a man’s game and not a woman’s game and he’s said that on stage in front of 50 kids who had just played a boys and girls game of football.”
She said the last straw was when Malthouse, discussing potential AFL rule changes, said that if the AFL went to an 18m goal square all the players should “wear skirts.”
“I left after that I was so disgusted and drove back to Melbourne. He can have an opinion but then there’s just degrading and disrespectful comments,” she told the publication.
Jason Akermanis, who was sitting on the expert panel alongside Malthouse and Hope, nevertheless defended Malthouse’s claims this morning on 3AW.
“I thought her reaction was one of someone’s who quite inexperienced,” Akermanis told the radio station. “You want to have people on stage that will give you a different opinion that you’re probably not going to like. We’ve all done it. We’ve all been there.”
Akermanis insisted that after Hope gains more experience in the game, she will “probably be a bit more relaxed and I reckon she’ll see it a bit differently.”