Eliza Andersen says she is tired of the sexism and misogyny within the football community after being verbally abused at an Adelaide AFL match at the weekend.
- A 25-year-old woman was verbally abused by an intoxicated man at a football match at Adelaide Oval on Saturday
- Security hugged the man and shook his hand, and was not removed
- Eliza Andersen says she may not return to an AFL match again
The 25-year-old Port Lincoln woman, a Carlton Football Club supporter, said that being a minority supporter at a Port Adelaide home game had not stopped her from attending before and she was looking forward to it.
“It was probably the first Carlton game we had in Adelaide in over two years, and it was Marc Murphy’s 300th and final game, so I was very excited to go,” Ms Andersen said.
“We had Carlton members’ tickets as I’ve been a member for my entire life. We had great seats in and amongst the Carlton cheer squad.”
But Ms Andersen said when she got to the allotted seats, she found three men already sitting there.
An usher checked their tickets, but then advised Ms Andersen not to bother the men and to find somewhere else.
“I felt really small in that situation, but it was OK … It’s football, you get what you get,” she said.
‘Disgusted and intimidated’
She said her new seats were right in front of an intoxicated man who was slurring his words, stumbling and hurling “unusual abuse” both to the players and to spectators.
Ms Andersen was scared but her boyfriend’s presence made her feel a bit safer.
Her boyfriend asked the man to quieten down, but he continued his behaviour.
It was then Ms Andersen decided to say something herself.
“I said, ‘Could you please sit down and be quiet?'”
“He called me a f***ing slut, slag and a c***.
“I felt disgusted and intimidated.”
Security no help
Ms Andersen had noted that the numbers for security had been displayed on Adelaide Oval’s big screen throughout the match.
She decided to approach two of the security guards.
“I went and told them, ‘This man has been saying all types of awful things not only to me but everyone around me’.
The security guard then asked Ms Andersen to point him out.
Ms Andersen watched as the guard spoke to the intoxicated man and shook his hand.
Then, she said, the man walked up to the second guard and embraced him.
Ms Andersen said she did not know what was said or why the situation ended with a hug, and was left upset and confused.
She was also approached by another Port supporter who told her she had complained about the man a few times as well.
‘I feel so deflated’
Ms Andersen said it would be some time before she would want to go back there.
“I just feel so deflated,” she said.
“At this point in my life I expect this from men, and unfortunately I expect this abuse from men.
“What I didn’t expect, was to reach out for help to security guards and then be dismissed.
Ms Andersen has received an apology from the head of security at Adelaide Oval and was grateful to hear they would be following up on what happened by reviewing security footage.
Adelaide Oval said in a statement the experience of all patrons during events at the oval was of the utmost importance.
“As always, we also encourage patrons to use the 0400 TELL US number, which is in place for all fans to use during games and means our staff and security can act immediately in the event of any inappropriate behaviour,” it said.
Meanwhile, the Port Adelaide Football Club said it was investigating the incident.
Mr Shirley said any supporter deemed to be in breach of the club’s Support Code of Conduct would face significant penalties, including being banned from future matches.
“The game on Saturday was kind of centred around the fact that Port Adelaide now has an AFLW team, which is amazing,” Ms Andersen said.
“But I feel we are still so stuck in racism, sexism and discrimination in this AFL football community.