Jason Ball Stopping Homophobia in the AFL

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Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
September 13, 2012, 08:01

Hi Everyone

Some of you in Australian states may have seen Jason Ball interviewed on current affairs programs about homophobia in Australian football. He came out as gay in his local team and wants the AFL to put a stop to homophobia so high profile gay players can feel free to come out.

Please sign the petition and post on facebook and twitter.


Ann Maree

Here's some of Jason's email and other ways you can support the cause if you would like to:

Jason says:

We’ve raced through the original target of 10,000 — and the more support we get, the harder it will be for the AFL to ignore us. The new target is 30,000 – can you share the petition with everyone you know and make sure they sign? Share on facebook here or send the address to everyone you know.

I’d also love your help in other areas as well:

We need more personal stories (either public or anonymous) from fans and players about their own experiences of homophobia in the AFL. Many inspiring and brave people have already sent theirs in, but we need more to really show the AFL that this is a big problem for people inside the game. Email if you’ve got something you can share.

We need support from inside the game itself – so please get in touch if you have contacts for players, coaches, supporter groups or staff who might publicly (or privately) recognise the issue and support the campaign.

If you can help with any of these then please get in touch at [email protected] – I won’t be able to get back to everyone until next week, but will keep checking for urgent opportunities (thanks so much to everyone who's written so far). You can also join this facebook group to share ideas and be involved in taking the campaign forwards.

Since going public I’ve heard stories both beautiful and heart-wrenching from so many grassroots players and fans. It’s just shown how urgent it is we act — I hope together we can achieve something real.


Joined in 2012
September 15, 2012, 11:37

I personally don't know what it's like to be discriminated against in the AFL as I don't play that sport, but I have seen enough YouTube videos where famous sports players have had to deal with the homophobia issue their entire lives, to understand how much hurt they would have gone through each and every day. Especially this story which really touched me personally:

Like so many gay sportsmen and women say, homophobia in the *macho* sports world is something that NEEDS to end, and it has to be talked about, because lives are being lost and it's quite simply, an epidemic.

Signed 😛

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
September 15, 2012, 12:53

Thanks for signing Jordan and for letting me know you have. 🙂 It's heartening to see these issues supported and only takes a few seconds to sign the petition.

Thanks for posting that link too. It's a really good one. Things are definitely getting better. Being gay in sports is not the taboo it was 20 years ago but the AFL needs to be doing much more.

I've included some links to a recent article and TV interviews with Jason Ball.

I'm so impressed with Jason Ball for having the courage to take this up. I'm also pleased that Jeff Kennett is fully behind him. There was a time when Jeff was not at all supportive of gay issues but in a recent article he said that the increased rates of mental illness and suicides in the LGBTI community made him think differently. He realised that homophobia contributed to this and something needed to be done about it. He's right – something does need to be done about it. Big organisations need to change their cultures to be truly inclusive and accepting of LGBTI people so employees and players can feel safe and comfortable enough to come out and be fully themselves. I don't believe the onus should be on individual players but on the big companies. And meanwhile we can raise awareness and put pressure on companies and corporations by signing petitions, writing letters and generally using our voices to make sure they know this issue is important. Everyone has the right to work and live free of harassment. And to create an inclusive working culture, especially in sports, will have a positive influence in other workplaces and environments. It will also save lives by reducing depression and suicide rates.


Ann Maree

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
September 15, 2012, 14:11


Joined in 2011
September 15, 2012, 16:51

also done,


Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
September 15, 2012, 18:13

Thanks Anthony and Sarab. 🙂


Ann Maree

Joined in 2009
September 17, 2012, 01:33


I was also glad to see Kennett's reversal on his opinions of LGBTI issues. For someone in his position, his previous stance seemed to be completely incongruous.

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
September 21, 2012, 19:23

Hi Everyone

Great news! Here's an email from Jason Ball that outlines a positive turn of events. Apparently there was a feature about this on The Project tonight but I missed it. Did anyone catch the program?

Ann Maree –

What an amazing beginning.

Two weeks ago I launched my petition calling on the AFL to to take a stand against homophobia in footy. I had no idea what it would set in motion.

Soon more than 25,000 had signed and we’d been covered on every single TV channel. It was all over radio and newspapers around the country.

Then, two days ago I was on my lunch break at work. A blocked number called my mobile. It was Andrew Demetriou (CEO of the AFL)!?! He was ringing to congratulate me on the stand I’d taken, and wanted to talk about what the AFL might do.

Today it was splashed across the front page of The Age: “The AFL will broadcast ‘No to homophobia’ advertisements on the big screen at the preliminary finals as part of a major push to stamp out discrimination”. It will take much more than a few ads to change the culture that exists in footy — but it’s an important first step.

I’ll keep talking to the AFL — and keep arguing for more action, including a pride round next year. Nothing could send a stronger signal that people were welcome in footy no matter their sexuality.

But signs are good that if we keep demonstrating community support we’ll see even more progress. This morning Demetriou said “I can assure you that we've got further plans into the future.” I intend to help make those plans, and will need your help to do so — I’ll keep you posted.

For now we should celebrate this amazing progress and the clear commitment the AFL has made. Check out this photo I took of The Age story on the front page — and share it around to spread the good news!

I also want to say thanks so much to everyone for all the support that I’ve received through email, twitter and facebook – it’s made something that could have been hard so much easier. I especially want to thank those of you who shared very personal stories. It’s our stories that help people understand why this is so important.

I’ll be in touch again as we keep working for more real action.

Until then — thank you.


P.S. There’ll be a segment on The Project tonight on Channel 10 talking about the issue and the campaign — tune in to check it out.

Joined in 2012
September 21, 2012, 20:43

That's so awesome to hear Ann! Thanks for sharing that 😛

I just did a google search and found this article too, I think it was posted 4 hours ago? Not sure, anyway, it has a good anti-homophobia ad that they are going to air.

Joined in 2009
September 23, 2012, 17:31

Lets do everything we can to support Jason and other brave people such as him.

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