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A message from the Board about crowd behaviour

07-Jun-2019

After what was a moving and ultimately victorious day at Brunswick Street Oval last Saturday, it is profoundly disappointing to have to write and address an ugly side of the day.

The club has received a ‘please explain’ from the VAFA, including a request to investigate incidentsof crowd behaviour directed towards one of the umpires officiating the senior men’s game on Saturday. Officials of our club were notified by the umpires at half time in the game and a couple of the Directors were required to take steps to ensure the behaviour did not continue for the remainder of the game.

We all get passionate about the game and want our team to win. But abusing or repeatedly directing loud, negative comments to an umpire (or player) is unacceptable.

With the huge growth of our game it is hard to recruit enough umpires. We struggle throughout the season to get the numbers we need. And that job of recruiting becomes all the harder when people experience abuse in what is effectively their workplace.

Screaming at and heckling umpires and players is not on. It can be damaging to those individuals and if it goes on repeatedly, can affect their mental health and wellbeing. Imagine being in your workplace and someone screaming at you about every mistake they believe you made? What if it was your son or daughter experiencing this abuse? How awful would that be? It wouldn’t take long for you (or them) to walk away.

So we are asking that everyone take stock of their own behaviour — cheer, yell, scream but do it in a positive manner to support your team.

If you see or hear something inappropriate, speak up if you feel confident to do so and please notify a club official. Do not address the issue if you are not comfortable in the situation. There are Directors present at all senior men’s and women’s games most weeks so please let us know immediately if there is an issue.

As spectators, members, players, coaches we all have an obligation to follow the VAFA’s codes of conduct.

If you can’t do that the club could be fined, charged with bringing the game into disrepute, and placed on a behaviour bond with a number of conditions.

If you can’t do that, don’t come!

We won’t accept this kind of behaviour.

Please feel free to contact any of the Club’s Directors if you wish to discuss any conduct issues, all our contact details are on the website.

Let’s all make sure that Fitzroy games continue to be ones that all people involved in the game want to come to.

President, Joan Eddy on behalf of the Directors of the Board
Fitzroy Football Club (inc the Fitzroy Reds)


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