The AFL Player Spectator Current AFL Threat Level

Millionaires with a Year Ten Education
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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

AFL Players Raping with Drugs

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.

Citations: The Herald-Sun, 25/10/05; The Herald-Sun, 26/10/05

Word Count: 758

Tags: footy, rape, drugs

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Thursday, October 06, 2005

Season 2005 Wrap Up

With the AFL Grand Final finally out of the way, hordes of footy players wreaking havoc on the populace of other places with their end-of-year footy trips, and their pimps and wranglers busily scheming away in (rough) Trade Week, it's time for some quiet reflection.

You see, this blog was motivated by The AFL's annus horribilis in 2004. The investigative journalists at 4 Corners had kicked over the dried turd of professional sport and exposed the writhing worms of drugs, rape and violence that pervades the industry. How has 2005 stacked up?

It's clear that the overpaid and under-educated AFL stars continue to receive "special treatment" at the hands of the police. Even though AFL players get their own free priority taxi service, Sav Rocca got the benefit of a police chauffeur service to spirit him away from the birth of his second son. (Seen one, seen them all, I guess.) Is leaving your wife like that a sign of commitment, or warped values? Dunno - but Nick Stevens would understand, given that he ditched his brother's wedding (where he was meant to be bestman)!

In any case, the police were also clearly pussy-footing around with a very light touch approach to Geelong players in a nightclub brawl. Would anyone else get treated like this? No wonder top cop Simon Overland doubts the ability of his detectives to investigate footy players properly - even over serious allegations like rape, as we saw with the Heath Culpitt "missing evidence" scandal.

What's makes these cosy arrangements with the coppers extremely dangerous is the apparently equally cosy arrangements with the underworld. Whether it's abduction and torture by bikies (Carlton), or emergency legal advice during a gang shoot-out (West Coast) - AFL players are there, right in the thick of it. But what would 22 year-olds making half a million bucks a year want with gangstas and bikies anyway?

Drug-taking was a recurrent theme this year. Ditched player Laurence Angwin came clean about the extent of drug use within the ranks of the AFL. Naturally, officials wanted to bury this, going as far as excluding the AFL from the WADA anti-doping protocol - under pressure from the AFL players' union who wanted to Fight ... for their Right ... to P-a-a-a-r-t-a-y! (Yet they were strangely quiet about the proposal to test player DNA.) The resulting humiliating backdown by the AFL wasn't the only one for the year. After shafting songstress Sylvie Paladino in favour of Delta, the AFL backed down on that one too.

Apart from the Grand Final pre-show entertainment, the other major cultural event in footy land was the Brownlow Medal Count Extravaganza. While the tackiness and desperation were toned down a little on previous years, there was still plenty of shameless pole-climbing on display - not to mention cleavage and fake-tan! Meanwhile, that mainstay of Aussie Rules culture - the massive ego-fest over at The AFL Footy Show - continued to spew its nastiness and poisonous "humour" on the world. When will the suffering end? I guess when seeing Sam Newman drink a bottle of bourbon on stage or expose his willy or dress up in black face paint stops being amusing to AFL fans. Fat chance.

Despite the best efforts of the police, some footy players actually made it into the legal system. The bizarre gang bashing at Fed Square by young thugs Dane Swan, Kade Carey and Aaron Ramsay continues to wend its way through the courts. I believe it's at the County Court now, and look forward to hearing the outcome. I'm sure the family of the beaten guards and intimidated witnesses are too. In another incident, Richmond lost its TAC sponsorship after teenager Shulz hooned through the city at twice the speed limit while pissed as a fart. I guess he couldn't wait for his free priority taxi. And serial pest Karl Norman finally got his come-uppance for trashing his rental property. Karma kicks in eventually.

Despite this criminality, it must be said that the gang rapes appear to be down on last year. This could be due to less reporting of them, increased reluctance by police to investigate, or possibly less rapes going public due to the AFL's deeply offensive rape buy-back policy. (Under this scheme, AFL rapists are given financial penalties and the victim bought off with some cash. We saw how this works previously; perhaps the clubs have perfected it?) Or maybe - just maybe - player education and media scrutiny (like this) has actually resulted in fewer women being raped by AFL players? I think it would be rash to dismiss this possibility entirely.

So even though I've been insulted (someone even called me a journalist!) and threatened with violence I'll continue to publish and update the AFL Player Threat Index, to help people protect themselves against further rapes and bashings. I'll also continue to publish cautionary tales, like that of Gary Ablett, in the hope that people will learn from the past.

Here's hoping that 2006 is a safer season for the rest of us.

Word Count: 891

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