I was hoping to take a break from logging the sordid underbelly of AFL footy. Sadly, a number of very serious allegations have been made this week that cannot pass without comment.
They both center around the use of drugs by some AFL players to disable (and in one case) rape women. Both incidents allegedly occurred last month, during the finals season. This is a period that automatically gets a "red light" owing to the large numbers of players cutting loose. In this incident, a young woman picked up an AFL player:
She is believed to have claimed she met the player on a night out with friends at an inner-suburban Melbourne bar.
It was there she said she met the Melbourne-based footballer and spent time with him.
She has claimed her drink was spiked during the evening.
The woman, in her early 20s, is believed to have claimed the footballer twice had sex without her consent while she was incapacitated by drugs.
She has been receiving counselling over the alleged incident. (The Herald-Sun, 25/10/05)
I'll follow the advice of The Hun's defamation lawyers and not name the player, venue or complainant (and please, comments doing the same will be deleted!).
The second incident allegedly involved Nick Steven's wife at a post-Brownlow boozer at Crown Casino (the site of the infamous Heath Culpitt missing-rape-evidence scandal). She was targeted for drink-spiking by an AFL player:
CARLTON star Nick Stevens's girlfriend is believed to have had her drink spiked at a post-Brownlow Medal party at Crown casino.
Doctors believe the date-rape drug Rohypnol was involved.
The drug was allegedly slipped into her drink as the couple celebrated with other AFL stars at the Crown Promenade Hotel on September 19.
Rohypnol causes unconsciousness and memory loss, leaving victims vulnerable to sexual assault.(The Herald-Sun, 26/10/05)
(Personally, I do not like the term "date rape". It seems to suggest a hierarchy of rape. Rape is rape, regardless of the social situation it takes place in: on a date, walking home from work, sitting at home watching telly etc)
While it's possible the drink-spiker could have been an AFL official or coach, this seems doubtful to me. It looks like we have a culture of AFL players spiking young women's drinks - either with Rohypnol or other illegal drugs - in order to rape them. For all the much-vaunted player awareness training, it seems that their internal code of conduct and footballer culture still allows - or even encourages? - individuals to engage in this most despicable behaviour.
There's one thing of which we can be certain: no AFL player is synthesising his own Rohypnol. (That's not covered in year ten science.) They're getting it from somewhere - probably the same place they're getting all their ecstacy. It would be shocking to learn that footy players are passing around amongst themselves "rape-enabling" drugs, in addition to the various other pills and powders. However, this is the kind of behaviour that can emerge when the culture says that women are sex-toys to be used and abused and that their consent is irrelevant.
The psychology of why AFL players seek to rape incapacitates women may be even more disturbing than simply a willingness to disregarding the women's wishes. These are young, fit, famous, wealthy men. I don't imagine any of them face serious difficulties in picking up. Yet this is certainly not the first allegations of rape made against AFL players; not even the first involving raping women disabled through drugs and alcohol - or even while sleeping. It's likely that in some cases the rape wasn't just a means to an end - getting a root - but also an end in itself. In other words, the (unnecessary) use of chemical incapacitation (and/or violence) adds to the sexual arousal and pleasure. Fuckin' sickos. This is not the case for normal men. Something is wrong with them.
To re-iterate: do not pick up AFL footballers. Do not flirt with them. Do not let them buy you drinks. If you feel unwell or unsteady, ask the bouncers to call you a taxi. If you can't manage that, stay in the women's toilets and get help from other women. The AFL player you just met might seem nice enough, but the risk that he is an emotionally-retarded egoist in thrall to his club's tribal customs and carrying a packet of Rohynol is just too great. Don't do it.
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