For decades, sports supporters were largely allowed to say whatever they wanted either inside or outside a stadium.
However over the years, each code has tried to clean up fan behaviour by clamping down on racist, homophobic or just particularly unlikeable phrases that are yelled from seats.
That couldn’t be more evident in the AFL, which has undergone a few scandals in regards to booing and racist comments hurled at players like Adam Goodes.
The sport has taken a hard stance on the issue but now supporters reckon they’ve gone too far because they’re not allowed to say anything negative at all.
People are quick to cry ‘political correctness gone mad’ in these scenarios, so supporters want the AFL to provide a list of acceptable and unacceptable phrases so that everyone can enjoy the game without fear of being thrown out.
That’s exactly what happened to a fan at the Brisbane Lions vs Carlton Blues match on Saturday, who was ejected for supposedly calling the umpire a ‘bald-headed flog’.
The man, named only as Frankie, told radio station 3AW: “It’s pretty embarrassing this afternoon from the AFL…I couldn’t believe it.
“All I said was ‘You can’t call the ball one-handed, you bald-headed flog,’ and then he’s just pretty much stamped his hand on the side of the wall there, pointed to a security guard and sort of chucked me.
“There were security guards standing pretty close to me, and they heard everything as well, and as I was being escorted to the back of the ground they said ‘there is nothing we can do, this is management policy’.”
The ‘bald-headed flog’ comment is one of many which have seen fans booted from stadiums across Australia, and that’s why supporters want clarity.
Credit: Fox Footy
AFLFA president Gerry Eeman has told The Age: “We’ve been told that there hasn’t been any changes by the AFL, but clearly something’s shifted.
“We don’t condone yelling out abuse, but we think some allowance for footy being an emotional game needs to be made. This isn’t the classroom or office, it’s a different environment.”
There have been supporters kicked out for calling umpires ‘maggot’ and ‘wanker’, however sometimes the exact words can sometimes be misconstrued in a crowd.
The ‘bald-headed flog’ supporter will find out whether he will receive any punishment later today.