Sunday, April 2, 2023
HomeAFLTarryn Thomas, stood down from North Melbourne, AFL urged to act tougher...

Tarryn Thomas, stood down from North Melbourne, AFL urged to act tougher on players facing abuse allegations

- Advertisement -

The AFL’s education initiatives are excellent but it has to introduce harsher penalties for players facing serious allegations, a sexual and family violence advocacy group says.

Full Stop Australia chief executive Hayley Foster said her organisation wanted to work with the AFL to help the league “send a strong message” to players that abusive and violent behaviour would not be tolerated.

It comes after North Melbourne’s Tarryn Thomas was stood down on Wednesday night after the AFL’s integrity unit notified the club of a fresh allegation of inappropriate behaviour against him.

Watch every match of every round of the 2023 Toyota AFL Premiership Season LIVE on Kayo Sports. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >

In an earlier statement, the Kangaroos did not commit to any disciplinary action against Thomas despite reports of a series of allegations that he had harassed and threatened women.

North Melbourne said Tarryn Thomas would be taking time away from the club following a fresh allegation of inappropriate behaviour. Picture: Jake NowakowskiSource: News Corp Australia

Ms Foster said the mixed messaging from the club and league amid the allegations showed the need for the AFL to put clearer measures and processes in place.

“You need to be accountable and address these issues in a really consistent way,” Ms Foster said.

“I think that’s what the wider community would expect when you’re dealing with serious allegations like these.

“If a court has mentioned the matter and there’s enough evidence to lead to a trial, there should be a first step to stand someone down.”

Full Stop Australia chief executive Hayley Foster said the AFL needed to introduce consistent ramifications for players facing serious allegations in court. Picture: Richard DobsonSource: News Corp Australia

The league’s education programs for players were a positive, but consequences needed to be made clear for poor behaviour towards women, Ms Foster said.

“You can tell someone to be nice until they’re blue in the face, but if there’s no impetus to stop this behaviour, then it will keep happening,” she said.

“As hard as it is to hear, people use this kind of behaviour to have their needs met.

“You need to make it clear that it’s not going to work out for them if they continue because we’re all human, we have self-interest at heart and that influences our decisions.”

Thomas is undergoing club mandated respectful behaviour training and an education program to address what North Melbourne called his “behavioural issues”.

He has also made a commitment to co-operate fully in any AFL or police investigation.

Story Credit:

- Advertisment -

Most Popular