Ex-player Joel Wilkinson has accused the Australian Football League of racism and said he plans to lodge a claim with the Australian Human Rights Commission.
Wilkinson Womens Tom Pyatt Jersey , who was born in Sydney and is of Nigerian descent, played 26 matches in the top-flight national league for the Gold Coast Suns from 2011 to 2013.
"I'm here because I won't be silenced anymore and what has happened has been a continuous breach of human rights," Wilkinson said while reading from a statement on Thursday. "I have suffered extreme racism during my time in the AFL and post my career."
Wilkinson, who had unsuccessful tryouts at cornerback with the NFL's Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants, said he was racially abused by an opposing player during his first AFL game for Gold Coast in 2011.
The following year, he said was racially abused by a supporter of the Collingwood club during a match in Melbourne.
He didn't get another contract after leaving the Suns after the 2013 season, although he did feature in a "Making A Stand" video produced by the AFL's media department in 2014 where he discussed the devastating impact racism had on his career. The video was part of the AFL's 2014 club education program, which the league said was designed "to promote safe, welcoming and inclusive environments for everyone involved in football."
Other players, including Sydney Swans star Adam Goodes, who has Aboriginal heritage and has won an Australian of the Year honor for his work against racism, have been the target of a racist slurs while playing in the top level of the league.
Wilkinson's lawyer Will Barsby said two other former players had made contact following Wilkinson's recent accusations against the league http://www.officialhockeypanthersshop.com/authentic-adidas-james-reimer-jersey , but didn't identify the players and said it was unclear whether the two also wanted to take legal action.
Barsby said Wilkinson lost his place at the Suns because he became too much trouble.
"He was labelled as a grandstander ... Joel experienced much racism during his time (in the AFL) and that has been documented publicly," Barsby said. "That became a problem and like any workplace, sometimes an employer doesn't want to keep that perceived problem child around."
The AFL issued a statement saying it respected "a person's right to pursue claims through the legal system", while noting it was sorry Wilkinson had been racially abused during his time as a footballer.
"We will continue to work with Joel to resolve this matter," the AFL statement said.
Australian rules was developed in the late 1850s and has similarities to Ireland's Gaelic football, but uses an oval-shaped ball and teams comprising 18 players score points by kicking the ball between four upright posts at each end of the field.
The Victorian Football League was formed in 1896 and eventually became the Australian Football League when the competition expanded across the country. It remains the only professional Australians Rules league in the world.
Wilkinson had a background in track and field before taking up Aussie rules later in high school. He was a member of the Suns squad when the club first joined the AFL in 2011.
The Surpeme Court struck down a 26-year-old federal ban on sports betting on Monday, allowing states to decide whether they want to allow legal wagers on football, basketball, baseball, hockey and other games. Here’s a look at what that means:
SO, WHEN CAN I BET ON SPORTS?
Soon, depending on where you live. Officials in three states – Delaware http://www.officialavalanche.com/authentic-adidas-j.t.-compher-jersey , Mississippi and New Jersey – have pledged to start accepting legal bets within weeks. Three others already had laws on the books authorizing sports betting in the event of a favorable Supreme Court decision, although there likely will be more debate about the specifics. More than a dozen other states either have active legislation to authorize sports gambling or have considered it in the past. Expect those discussions to ramp up, along with more aggressive lobbying in those states by sports book operators and the professional leagues.
WHO WILL ACCEPT BETS?
It will vary from state to state. Some have authorized commercial casinos to open sports books, while some will offer sports betting products through their state lotteries. Aside from the few states that have worked out those details already, lawmakers and regulators will be deciding whether to allow bets to be placed at casinos, horse racing tracks, off-track betting parlors or even stadiums, and whether to allow online and mobile betting.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE LEAGUES?
The four major U.S. professional leagues and the NCAA spent years fighting New Jersey’s challenge to the constitutionality of the federal ban. Nonetheless, the commissioners of the NBA and Major League Baseball have both said they’re open to the prospect of legal gambling – on their terms. The NBA and MLB have been lobbying states to give a small percentage of the amount wagered back to the league offices. They say they deserve a cut because gambling is entirely dependent on their business, and they need to spend more money to guard against potentially devastating game-fixing scandals. Casino interests argue that Nevada does just fine regulating gambling and flagging suspicious behavior without sending money directly to the leagues.
The NFL, the nation’s most popular spectator sport, will have to reckon with its longstanding opposition to gambling Joel Edmundson Jersey , which many critics say is hypocritical because the league encourages fantasy sports, publishes detailed injury reports that help bookies set odds and schedules several games every season in London, where in-stadium betting is legal. League owners also approved the Raiders moving to Las Vegas, gambling’s mecca in the United States. With the fight against expanded gambling lost for now, the NFL could use its powerful lobbying muscle to partner with the NBA and MLB and seek new federal regulations.
Gambling proponents argue that the leagues will benefit through sponsorships and other tie-ins with sports book operators and enhanced fan interest in their games.
”I think everybody who owns top-four professional sports team just basically saw the value of their team double at least,” Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told CNBC on Monday.
HOW WILL THIS CHANGE THE FAN EXPERIENCE?
Once sports betting becomes more widely legal, fans can expect to have the opportunity to bet on their phones during games, a common practice in countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia. Television ratings and subscriptions to streaming services could increase because fans are more interested in games that don’t involve their hometown teams. And discussion of point spreads, over/unders and prop bets could become more common among broadcasters and journalists as they seek to remain relevant to how fans are thinking about sports.
WILL ILLEGAL BOOKIES GO OUT OF BUSINESS?
Probably not, said Kate Lowenhar-Fisher, a Las Vegas-based attorney who chairs the gaming practice at Dickinson Wright. Illegal bookies have longstanding relationships with their customers, some of whom prefer the anonymity of gambling offshore Blake Comeau Jersey , and they don’t have to pay taxes or fees. Plus, with states legalizing sports betting in a piecemeal fashion, illegal operators will continue to be more convenient for many bettors.
Savvy businesspeople are also likely to create new gambling products that aren’t specifically addressed by state laws, just as daily fantasy sports companies did while the federal ban was in place.
”Americans will continue to be entrepreneurial, especially finding a way to evade all the compliance costs, tax costs, regulatory costs,” Lowenhar-Fisher said. ”That’s exactly what the fantasy sports operators tried to do – offer sports betting without having to deal with all the things a sports book operator has to deal with.”