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Australia: Club fails to support verbally harassed trans footballer

BY NATASHA BARSOTTI — The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reports that a trans football player who was allegedly verbally harassed during a game and spoke out against her treatment on social media was reprimanded by her club for going public with the incident.

According to the report, Kirsti Miller, who began playing for the Australian Football League's (AFL) South Broken Hill women's team in New South Wales (NSW) in April, was allegedly called "it" and told she had AIDS by players on an opposing team. But instead of supporting her in her decision to fight back, Miller's team reprimanded her in the dressing room before a game against the team whose players had allegedly made the comments, ABC says. 

The report notes that AFL Broken Hill had released a statement regarding the incident but says the club "mysteriously" withdrew it.

In the wake of Miller's walking out on her club, then complaining about the lack of support from the league, the AFL NSW/ACT, the governing body of Australian-rules football in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, has said that Miller's case was not "adequately resolved" and ordered mediation. 

"What I'd really like to see come out of this whole situation is no punishment for anyone, just education and procedures put in place so that instances like this in the future will be managed far better, and I want AFL NSW/ACT — and Broken Hill in particular — to come out as world leaders in positive change for the GLBT community," ABC quotes Miller as saying. 

There had been mixed reaction to Miller's participation in the women's league, ABC reported in April.

While one commenter said that it was "disgusting" and that she should be playing in the men's league, another said it was "good on her or him, whichever it may be." A third said Miller's participation was "excellent, wonderful, should be more of it."

Landing image: abc.net.au