Carlton footballer joins push for pride round
A heterosexual, national AFL player has demonstrated his support of combating homophobia by marching in support of gay pride and supporting the introduction of a pride round during the football season.
Carlton midfielder Brock McLean told The Age newspaper last week that the AFL needs to adopt a zero-tolerance policy on anti-gay conduct from grassroots level to the AFL.
“If there’s anyone yelling homophobic taunts, those people should be banned from footy for life,” McLean said.
“AFL players who do it should be made an example of, fined and suspended. We need to say this isn’t acceptable and set an example not just for the football community but for the rest of the community.”
McLean said his sister came out four years ago and “it just got me thinking how sad it is that so many people have to live in fear of not being accepted for who they are.”
McLean said his declaration was motivated by state level footballer Jason Ball’s coming out last year and Wallabies soccer player David Pocock becoming an ambassador for the Athlete Ally program, where athletes pledge support to all regardless of sexuality.
“It would be great to see a gay pride round with all the players wearing rainbow socks or boots, or using a rainbow ball. We need people who are proud to take a stand and say they’re not going to accept this silence anymore.”
McLean said he did not know any gay footballers but thinks they remain closeted for “fear of being an outcast”.
McLean will march with Ball and his fellow Yarra Glen team members at this weekend’s Pride March.