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Max Gawn says he is ‘ashamed’ to call himself a footballer after AFL was hit with a major black eye


Melbourne Demons captain Max Gawn has said he is «ashamed» to be known as a footballer, as AFL stars are constantly pelted with homophobic slurs during matches.

An angry Gawn, 32, said on Triple M’s Marty Sheargold Show on Friday that the gossip on the pitch had to stop.

It follows Gold Coast Suns star Wil Powell being handed a five-game ban after calling a rival Brisbane Lions player a «f****t», further illustrating the code’s homophobia problem.

Powell follows Jeremy Finlayson to the sideline after the Port Adelaide star delivered the same expletive in a game against Essendon in April.

Finlayson was banned for three games and Gawn was scathing when asked what he thought.

Melbourne Demons captain Max Gawn has said he is «ashamed» to be known as a footballer as AFL stars continue to use homophobic language during matches.

Speaking on Triple M's Marty Sheargold Show on Friday morning, captain Gawn believes the players need to be better.

Speaking on Triple M’s Marty Sheargold Show on Friday morning, captain Gawn believes the players need to be better.

«I’m not too concerned about the (Powell, five-game) suspension,» he said.

“I’m just quite embarrassed that the AFL cohort has slipped up again and again.

“It’s embarrassing to call myself an AFL player at the moment. You get slapped with this (homophobic) brand.

“I hope I know our group, we (Demons) talk about it. Hopefully we’ve learned (as a game) and can move forward.»

Meanwhile, Ian Roberts – the first rugby league player to come out as gay – believes the AFL has a clear problem with homophobic attitudes.

«Education at a young age is the biggest sword and shield in dealing with things like this,» he said.

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“The battle is over with grown men. The basics are what’s important. The AFL and major codes should invest in basic education if they really want to solve this. It has to start there – with education.

‘It never occurs to me to call someone ‘f–‘…’When people say that word, they not only say it, they spit it out.

Gawn's strong words come after Gold Coast Suns star Wil Powell was this week banned for five games for

Gawn’s strong words come after Gold Coast Suns star Wil Powell was this week banned for five games for «indecent behaviour»

Ian Roberts - the first rugby league player to come out as gay - believes the AFL has a clear problem with homophobic attitudes

Ian Roberts – the first rugby league player to come out as gay – believes the AFL has a clear problem with homophobic attitudes

«That is the height of insults. You are trying to demoralize someone. It diminishes a person that you are nothing, I will wipe you under my foot.

“I can promise you that there’s going to be a kid in the suburbs in the regional areas who may not have heard many stories in the last few weeks, but he’s definitely heard that story.

“If they’re struggling with their sexuality and identity and don’t understand what they’re going through, it validates all the fear they feel.

«I believe in education to move it forward … you have to look at the catastrophic consequences of what discrimination can do to people, what it looks like and how it can manifest itself.»

Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan has said he is pleased with the «clear direction» the AFL is taking against the use of homophobic slurs.

I agree with their position that you cannot make such comments on the field,” he said.



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