AFLW stars Sabrina Frederick–Traub and Chelsea Randall have joined male colleagues Marcus Bontempelli and Shaun Burgoyne in the fight against violence towards women.
Brisbane’s Frederick-Traub and Adelaide’s Randall are the newest ambassadors for the AFL Players’ Association’s partnership with anti-violence agency Our Watch’s The Line program.
The Line is a primary prevention behaviour change campaign for young people aged 12 to 20 years that encourages healthy and respectful relationships by challenging behaviours that support violence.
Research from The Line suggests that one in four people aged 12-24 hold attitudes that put them at risk of perpetrating or excusing violence against women.
Frederick-Traub says the eve of the inaugural season of the AFL Women’s competition presents the opportune time to promote issues such as equality and respect.
“Violence and disrespect have no place on or off the field. Nor does gender inequality. Whether in sport or wider society, initiatives to create an equal playing field for men and women, boys and girls, should be championed,” she said.
“I love everything about sport. However, it’s important to me that aspiring female sports stars can see people like them reflected in the game. This is why it’s great the AFL has recently taken steps towards equality and laid solid foundations for the future of women’s football.”
AFLPA CEO Paul Marsh says the ‘PA is proud to partner with The Line for a third year and praised the leadership shown by Frederick-Traub and Randall in putting their hand up to influence the community.
“One of the great things about the arrival of the AFLW competition is that it has given young girls who love playing footy something to aspire to,” he said.
“Having both male and female footballers united on the issue of gender equality sends a powerful message.”
Our Watch CEO Mary Barry believes the AFLW has already proven to be a leader in gender equality, pointing to the pay deal struck between the AFLPA and AFL as well as the significant media coverage the competition has generated.
“This is important because evidence shows that the key driver of violence against women is gender inequality. It has been recognised in many countries that sport can be a force to amplify women's voices and tear down gender barriers and discrimination,” she said.
“Both female and male sports leaders are community role models for many, particularly young people. They have an opportunity to call out sexism and inequality - to set the tone, and the example, for others to follow.”