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“This isn’t about money, this is about justice”

Sports governing bodies like the AFL and NRL must do more to stamp out all forms of discrimination, according to a leading legal expert.

Lawyer Sam Macedone says the lawsuit brought on by former Gold Coast Suns player Joel Wilkinson against the AFL highlights the need for greater accountability

Wilkinson is pursuing compensation for a string of racial, sexual and religious harassment incidents he was allegedly subject to during his time as a player.

Wilkinson played 26 games for the Suns between 2011 and 2013. His case alleges he was not offered future employment by the AFL, the Suns or another club because he chose to speak up against racial discrimination in the game.

“If he is successful in this situation, it would open the door I think to many other cases where people have been vilified because of their race, sex or religion. This seems to be the elephant in the room that no-one really wants to talk about unless they’re forced to confront it,” Macedone told Macquarie Sports Radio’s Cameron Reddin.

Macedone says the AFL and other governing bodies need to take greater action to protect players from discrimination and come down hard on officials, players or spectators found to be in the wrong.

“People have to take action to prove that they are fair dinkum. You can always do something about it, but you’ve got to be proactive”.

“This isn’t about money, this isn’t about reputation, this is really about justice,” Macedone said.

Click below to listen to Sam Macedone discuss the potential repercussions of this case with Cameron Reddin

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