“There’s a reason I don’t follow the AFL, and neither should you.”

I have never been a follower of AFL. For as far back as I can remember I could not understand the appeal of watching a bunch of male meatheads running around a field wearing their ridiculous getup of long socks and shorty-shorts, sweating, and spitting on the field – revolting!

And what’s with the pathetic little push and shove matches they get into? They don’t look tough, they look like dickheads.

For a brief time when I was around eight or nine I wore a Geelong FC scarf because our primary school had a “footy colours” day, and I felt like the odd one out for not having a team. I’ve even attended a match or two, and I can tell you I was freezing, miserable, surrounded by screaming fans (what were they even screaming about?), and bored out of my bloody mind.

Growing up in regional Victoria, not following AFL can be tough. You’re definitely in the minority, and it was always awkward when someone tried to make small talk by asking which team you barrack for. All my family and friends were into it and later, my husband.

Unwaveringly, I still never got on the bandwagon. In fact, as I grew up and watched more news, and saw the way the AFL and its players represented themselves, my disinterest grew into dislike, and eventually hatred and disgust.

Advertisement The AFL Footy Show panel.

If being disinterested in AFL makes you an outcast, then actively hating it sends you into exile.

I’ve been relatively mild in expressing my distaste so far, tolerating my husband’s enjoyment of the footy, and even allowing him to take the kids to a couple of games. Hell, my daughter even participated in AusKick last term, and enjoyed it.

No more though. After seeing the way women are still treated by those representing the AFL in the year 2016, I have officially had enough.

eddie mcguire caroline wilson
Eddie McGuire's comments about sports journalist Caroline Wilson had already pushed Kelly over the edge.

My blood was already boiling over President of the Collingwood FC Eddie McGuire’s on air “joke” (HAHAHAHAHA, violence against women is hilarious, innit Eddie?!) about paying $50,000 to see professional sports journalist Caroline Wilson held under ice water, presumably with the intention of drowning.

Waking up today though to read the comments made on Channel Nine’s The Footy Show by Sam Newman sealed the deal for me. It’s over, I’m out. I’m outing myself as an AFL hater.

If the Nine Network had any credibility left, it lost it in not sacking that racist, misogynistic, revolting, and decrepit Neanderthal years ago. I get that he brings in the ratings, if it’s the ratings of the lowest common denominator of Australians you’re after.

Sam thinks that those who publicly called out Eddie’s violent, distasteful humour are “excrement”. Everything that comes out of this foul excuse for a man’s mouth is excrement.

The AFL can introduce a women’s league, and the Nine Network can put a woman on the panel of The Footy Show, but as long as they keep these dinosaurs and their attitudes around, nothing will change.

My children will never again participate in Auskick or attend matches. You cannot tell me that it’s a family game when those who represent you have absolutely no respect for half of my family, and I will not have my daughter or my sons grow up thinking that it is acceptable to vilify a woman who dares to set foot in this “man’s world” of football, and pass it off as a joke.

Unlike Sam Newman, it is not a joke.

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