The AFL says it will work harder on creating a “safe workplace” after Richmond players were seen on television appearing to grope a teammate.
Tiger players Nick Vlastuin and Jayden Short apologised on the weekend to teammate Mabior Chol after the pair were called out for their actions in the changerooms after the victory against Brisbane Lions.
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said in a statement on Monday night that the incident highlighted the need for greater action on creating respectful and inclusive workplaces for everyone.
“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,” 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 is planning a briefing for all 18 clubs and it will improve processes for reporting improper behaviour.
“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,” McLachlan said.
“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.”
The briefings will follow consultation with the federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins and Our Watch chief executive Patty Kinnersly.
“It’s important we work together to ensure our entire industry is really clear about the standards we must set in order to deliver the safest environment possible for everyone working in our game.” McLachlan said.
“We already have policies in place but where there is scope to improve them, we will improve them.”