- Indigenous former AFL players have launched a class action lawsuit against the league over a “lack of duty of care”.
- The players allege the AFL was aware of racist treatment of players but did nothing to prevent it.
- The code has been criticised in recent years over allegations it has failed to address racism in the past.
Seven former AFL players of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background have launched a class action lawsuit against the football code, alleging senior management did nothing to prevent
Former North Melbourne great Phil Krakouer is the face of the suit, with the other six players still unnamed but known to have played between 1975 and 2022.
Documents for the class action were lodged in the Supreme Court on Friday.
Lawyer Michel Margalit told ABC News 24 the players would be seeking compensation for the alleged lack of duty of care.
“Our claim alleges that the impact of this racial vilification has had life-long consequences, and has caused significant pain and suffering and this remains with the players for life,” she said.
Phil Krakouer told the ABC the AFL was aware of the racist treatment of players but failed to act.
“For decades, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people of colour have been racially abused while playing AFL, and we feel the AFL sat back and watched it all go by,” he said.
Ms Margalit said on Saturday that other players are expected to join the suit.
“Even though in recent times there’s been more significant steps towards recognition that racism existed in the AFL and steps to prevent it, the AFL has failed in enforcing the policies and this is where they have failed, fallen down,” she said,
“It’s not enacting policies, it’s the enforcement.”
The code has come under fire in recent years over allegations it has failed to address racism in the past.
In 2021, under the leadership of former president Eddie McGuire at the club, eventually leading to his resignation.