AFLW player proudly displays bum poke

 

 

We've come a long way in a few years.

On November 18, 2017, former Australian hockey player Georgie Parker posted a photograph to her Facebook page showing her grabbing a handful of teammate Kathryn Slattery's behind.

A year earlier Australian cricketer Usman Khawaja placed his hand on the bottom of teammate Adam Zampa while the national anthem played before a one-day international in New Zealand and groped - and groped.

The reaction to both incidents was starkly different to the furore which erupted after Richmond players were sprung touching the front and back of teammate Mabior Chol's private area after recent games.

Not one person who commented on Parker's photo - which the hockey star turned AFLW player still proudly displays as the cover image on her Facebook page - had a problem with what she did.

Ditto for Khawaja, who when asked about the moment said: "Haha it was all consensual. Just having a joke with the debutant."

Usman Khawaja welcomes Adam Zampa to international cricket.
Usman Khawaja welcomes Adam Zampa to international cricket.

A New Zealand journalist was bemused enough by Khawaja's actions to ask a sport psychologist his thoughts on the move.

But Gary Hermansson told stuff.co.nz it was "important not to sexualise the ritual" of bum grabbing in sport.

"In the sporting environment it's a piece of behaviour that's normalised and only sexualised if you impose something on it," he said.

"It's a way of belonging," he added. "It's always been there, it always will be probably because that's the nature of athletes."

Not anymore.

The AFL could not have been clearer in condemning the actions of its players, calling the acts "juvenile" and briefing all teams this week about ensuring "club environments are safe workplaces".

"We condemn the behaviour and need to learn from what happened and ensure that everyone across the AFL understands that we must have working environments that are free from any form of inappropriate conduct or sexual harassment," Mr McLachlan said.

"Where we fall below the standards expected of us, we need to acknowledge that and take the appropriate steps to learn and improve.

"The AFL and our clubs have made a strong commitment to gender equality and respect and responsibility and as part of this ongoing cultural change in our industry we need to ensure inappropriate conduct is not acceptable, whether it is the office or the changeroom. This is an ongoing journey and we are committed to change.

"What we saw in recent times with players from a number of clubs touching each other inappropriately is clearly not the standard of high performance in the workplace that we could - or should - accept."

It's a brave new hands-free world.

Originally published as AFLW player proudly displays bum poke



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