‘Ridiculous’: AFL boss apologises after woman forced to remove ‘Yes’ T-shirt


AFL boss Gillon McLachlan has apologised to an AFLW fan who was ordered to remove a ‘Yes’ T-shirt during an AFLW match in Queensland over the weekend.

The 32-year-old and her seven year-old daughter were attempting to enter the Lions versus Swans game at Springfield Central Stadium, 35km south west of Brisbane, on Sunday afternoon when the incident occurred.

The woman told the Guardian she hadn’t thought the T-shirt would cause any issues before heading to Saturday’s fixture.

However, upon arrival, the woman’s “history is calling” T-shirt caught the ire of security at the Brisbane venue who told her she could not enter the stadium.

“We’ve driven 40 minutes, I’ve bought a ticket – am I really being turned away?” she told The Guardian.

“It feels really ridiculous.”

The ABC reported that the woman was eventually allowed to enter the ground after changing her shirt – but not before being told to go to a nearby Big W to fetch another.

“History Is Calling” has become a catchcry for the Yes campaign, which ramped up its efforts with nationwide ‘Walk for Yes’ rallies over the weekend.

McLachlan on Monday labelled the call by security “a mistake”, while a Lions spokesperson admitted the security worker’s actions were “overzealous”.

“That was a mistake by the security guard — that should not have happened,” McLachlan said on Monday.

“I apologise to the AFLW supporter who was there. It should not have happened.”

Meanwhile the Brisbane Lions told News Corp, “we’re aware of the incident and have contacted the patron to apologise.”

Conditions of entry to AFL and AFLW matches state that patrons cannot “wear or display commercial, political, religious or offensive signage or logos of any kind”.

However, the league and its clubs have been open in supporting the Indigenous Voice to Parliament campaign.

“People who are expressing their own views coming to games in a T-shirt — it’s absolutely their right to do that,” McLachlan said on Monday.

The league has ruled out promoting the Voice on grand final day or at any other final.

“What we’ve said, though, is that the games themselves will not be available for either side,” McLachlan said.

“We’ve made our position clear, and now we want the finals football to speak for itself like it’s doing. The football’s been amazing, and the crowds have been incredible.”

The Voice to Parliament referendum vote is to be held on October 14.

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