AFLQ chief executive Richard Griffiths reminds all clubs and associations of their Racial and Religious Vilification Policy responsibilities.
Wednesday 23 June 2010
There is no place for racism in Australian football.
AFLQ chief Richard Griffiths re-iterated that stance in the wake of a number of race-related issues across a number of codes that have become very public in the past week.
“It is timely to remind every person associated with our game in this State that engaging in any form of racism is just not on,” Griffiths said.
“The AFL has been a leader in the field of tackling racism head-on and AFL Queensland has adopted the same strategies to ensure that people of all races feel welcome and free to enjoy all that our great game has to offer.”
AFLQ’s Racial and Religious Vilification policy is printed in its entirety below, but the crux of it is that no player, official or spectator at any game at any level should engage in conduct which threatens, disparages, vilifies or insults another person on the basis of that person’s race, religion, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin.
Serious processes are in place to deal with any transgression in this regard and Griffiths said all of the League’s clubs and affiliates should be aware of their responsibilities with this policy.
“Society in general takes a dim view of racism and so do we,” Griffiths said. “I know the overwhelming majority of football people in leagues and clubs are most inclusive of people of all nationalities who want to be involved in our game.
“All of our members should be committed to eliminating any inappropriate attitudes in the rare instances where they exist.”
QAFL Rule 20.7 – Racial & Religious Vilification
(a) No player in his capacity as a player of a club or, in the course of carrying out his duties or functions as or incidental to a player of a club or any director, officer, servant, or agent of a club (including without limitation any coach, assistant coach, trainer, medical officer, runner or person entitled to enter the arena during the course of or prior to or during any break in play in any match) shall act towards or speak to any other person in a manner, or engage in any other conduct which threatens, disparages, vilifies or insults another person (“the person vilified”) on the basis of that person’s race, religion, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin.
(b) In the event that it is alleged that a person has contravened rule 20.9 (a) an umpire, club or player may by 5.00pm on the first working day following the day on which the contravention is alleged to have occurred, lodge a complaint in writing with the person appointed from time to time by AFL Queensland or its affiliated League as the complaints officer for the purposes of this rule.
(c) AFL Queensland or its affiliated League shall:
(i) Inform the person alleged to have contravened rule 20.9 (a) of the complaint and provide that
(ii) person with an opportunity to respond to it.
(iii) Identify and obtain written statements from any available witnesses.
(iv) Obtain video or other evidence produced through the multi media.
(v) Arrange for the complaint to be conciliated and take all steps necessary for the complaint to be conciliated.
(d) The particulars of a complaint and the conciliation shall at all times remain confidential. A person shall not publicly comment on or disseminate to any person information concerning a complaint at any time during or after the conciliation.
(e) Where AFL Queensland or its affiliated League is of the opinion that the matter has not been resolved by conciliation, AFL Queensland or its affiliated League shall:
(i) In the case of a player, refer the complaint to the Tribunal to be dealt with as a reportable offence under the Laws of Australian Football; or
(ii) In the case of any other person, refer the complaint to AFL Queensland or its affiliated League to be dealt with under the rule covering inappropriate behaviour detailed in the rules and regulations of AFL Queensland and its affiliated Leagues.
(f) Where a person alleged to have contravened rule 20.9 (a) has previously taken part in a conciliation (other than as a person vilified), AFL Queensland or its affiliated League may refer the complaint directly to the Tribunal to be dealt with as a reportable offence under the Laws of Australian Football in the case of a player, or directly to AFL Queensland Commission to be dealt with as they see fit.
(g) Any conciliation referred to in rule 20.9 (c) shall be conducted by a suitable independent person appointed by AFL Queensland or its affiliated League upon agreement between the parties.
(h) In the event that a complaint is referred to the Tribunal rule 20.9 (d), no evidence shall be given to or accepted by the Tribunal relating to anything said or done in any conciliation carried out pursuant to rule 20.9 (c).
(i) In the event that a complaints officer has not been appointed for the purposes of these rules or if appointed is for any reason unavailable to act under these rules, the complaints officer for the purpose of these rules shall be the CEO of AFL Queensland or his appointed deputy.
(j) The complaints officer shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure that conciliation of a complaint under rule 20.9 (c) is completed by 5.00pm, on the third working day following the day on which the incident is alleged to have occurred.
(k) In any case where the complaints officer determines to refer the complaint to the affiliated League’s Tribunal or AFL Queensland, the complaint shall be referred in time for the affiliated League’s Tribunal or AFL Queensland as the case may be, to deal with it within 48 hours of any cessation in the conciliation process following the day on which the incident is alleged to have occurred.
(l) Any time limit for the doing of anything referred to in this rule may be extended by AFL Queensland or its affiliated League if in the opinion of AFL Queensland or its affiliated League it is just and equitable to do so.
(m) In the event that a complaint under these rules, in respect of conduct engaged in by a person, is found to have been proven by the affiliated League’s Tribunal or where AFL Queensland determines that a person, the subject of a complaint, has been involved in conduct which is unbecoming or prejudicial to the interests of the affiliated League, the club employing, engaging or otherwise associated with the person at the time of the conduct shall be deemed to be vicariously liable for the conduct of the person and shall pay to the League a penalty determined by AFL Queensland or its affiliated League.
(n) Rule 20.9 (m) does not apply to a contravention by a person if, in the opinion of AFL Queensland or its affiliated League the club took all reasonable steps to prevent persons employed, engaged or otherwise associated with the club from engaging in the conduct which contravened the vilification rules.
(o) Where a matter is resolved by conciliation the only public statement that shall be made concerning a complaint and its resolution shall be that agreed upon by the parties.