The AFL has launched a campaign aimed to improve crowd behaviour.
AFL football operations manager Mark Evans has applauded Launceston fans for “dobbing in” a spectator for racially abusing North Melbourne player Majak Daw.
The league on Thursday launched a video-scoreboard campaign to promote good crowd behaviour.
The launch follows last Friday’s incident at the Hawthorn-North Melbourne pre-season clash when a fan was ejected from the ground after directing racial comments towards Sudanese-born Daw.
Evans said complaints about crowd behaviour at AFL games were rare.
“When they do happen like the incident with Majak Daw at Launceston I think the response from the people in the crowd in that vicinity and from the way it gets reported in the media, I think we can be very proud of that,” Evans said.
“We now have a text hotline set up at every venue and people are encouraged to use that text hotline whenever there is something going on in the crowd around them.
“People think when you pay the price of the ticket, that you can leave your morals and ethics behind for the two hours of the match, and that’s just not on.
“You can see by the response in Launceston that the public have had enough of it as well.”
Geelong coach Chris Scott said it was a great thing that AFL authorities didn’t have to separate supporters of rival teams, as happens in some overseas codes.
“We do need to be vigilant to make sure that we never get to that stage,” Scott said.
“We’re trying to protect our indigenous players particularly from abuse but we’re also trying to protect the young supporters.
“We need to encourage young people to come and feel comfortable watching their idols play. All the adults in the crowd have a responsibility to make sure that it is a safe and enjoyable place, particularly for those younger people who can’t stand up for themselves.
“We don’t want spectators going over the top and using abusive or insulting language, especially in front of children.”
The league’s scoreboard message features cameo performances from AFL coaches Chris Scott, Mark Thompson (Essendon), John Longmire (Sydney), Alan Richardson (St Kilda), Adam Simpson (West Coast) and Justin Leppitsch (Brisbane).