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AFL player sacked [fired] for controversial views

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posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 03:01 AM
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Akermanis' four year stint at Western Bulldogs comes to an end


Jason Akermanis' tumultous four-year partnership at the Western Bulldogs is over after he was given his marching orders by the AFL club, for ongoing breaches of trust.

Just six weeks before the AFL finals, the fifth-placed Bulldogs finally lost patience with the 33-year-old Brownlow medallist, who has been involved in a series of contentious off-field issues this season.

The matter finally came to a head on Wednesday when the club decided Akermanis had become too much of a distraction to their premiership aspirations.

It was understood senior Bulldogs officials asked Akermanis to retire on Wednesday and when he declined to do so, they felt compelled to sack him.

Bulldogs president David Smorgon said that Akermanis had put the club in an "untenable'' situation.


Jason Ackermanis is a well-known identity in the Australian Football League (AFL). He made comments last month about how he feels homosexual AFL players should not disclose their sexual orientation to other players. While these views might be controversial, does he deserve to be sacked for merely stating an opinion about a non-AFL related topic (sexual orientation)? Don't sports identities deserve the right to Freedom of Speech just as much as any other citizen?

----------------------------

EDIT: After reading some replies, I agreed that a name change was appropriate. It my belief that his comments on homosexuality were what caused the most "backlash" and was the major reason why he was let go. I have decided to remove the word "homosexuality" from the title as some members think it was misleading.

[edit on 21/7/2010 by Dark Ghost]




posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 03:04 AM
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reply to post by Dark Ghost
 


Typical big headed-Akermanis

Opened that huge friggin mouth of his on another subject where he wasnt wanted to comment. Good riddance...hope no other team picks him up this time


Should say that Im an Eagles supporter and after the accusation he made against Michael Braun, because Braun absolutely destroyed him one day, made me think even less of him



posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 03:06 AM
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Originally posted by OzWeatherman
reply to post by Dark Ghost
 


Typical big headed-Akermanis

Opened that huge friggin mouth of his on another subject where he wasnt wanted to comment. Good riddance...hope no other team picks him up this time


Should say that Im an Eagles supporter and after the accusation he made against Michael Braun, because Braun absolutely destroyed him one day, made me think even less of him


But do you think it is right that a sport's star has been sacked because of comments he made in regards to Homosexuality? (Try your best to put your personal opinions about the man aside)


[edit on 21/7/2010 by Dark Ghost]



posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 03:08 AM
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reply to post by Dark Ghost
 


Jason did the right thing.

Boo to his bosses.

He wasn't doing anything wrong.



posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 03:10 AM
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reply to post by Dark Ghost
 


Yes, its not his job to be commenting on such issues, his job is to play footy, and nothing else. He obviously didnt learn from his time at Brisbane, that making such comments, does nothing but distract team members and give others a bad impression of the football team in general. Trust is the issue here, and it seems as though he's been a repeat offender for the Bulldogs just like he was when he was at Brisbane, and that is enough grounds for dismissal in my opinion



posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 03:23 AM
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Originally posted by OzWeatherman
Yes, its not his job to be commenting on such issues, his job is to play footy, and nothing else. He obviously didnt learn from his time at Brisbane, that making such comments, does nothing but distract team members and give others a bad impression of the football team in general. Trust is the issue here, and it seems as though he's been a repeat offender for the Bulldogs just like he was when he was at Brisbane, and that is enough grounds for dismissal in my opinion

Fair enough. Not sure I agree with the "it's his job to play footy and nothing else" part. Would you be saying the same thing if Nick Riewoldt went on radio and said he knows gay players and feels they should be proud to come out to other players?

ETA: Or if Andrew Embley says Christian players should keep their faith to themselves?

[edit on 21/7/2010 by Dark Ghost]



posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 03:28 AM
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I think this is being taken out of context sort of ...

Jason Akermanis has a long history of being controversial and talking out of turn - sometimes against people he works with regularly. What he has done at times has just been unprofessional. I think this particular instance is just an excuse in some respects.

If this was a quiet player making such a comment I think it would be out of line, but Akermanis regularly jumps into any nearby lime light to the point where he is getting more attention than the rest of his team, and this is yet another comment that can polarise his team.

I don't even watch Australian Rules and I know who this man is for all the wrong reasons.

Besides we don't know the behind the scenes story ... what if Jason has made this comment in response to a member of his team being gay? It could've been a choice between him and his team mate.

Furthermore, what if Jason was making comments about Iraq or any other world issue. Any comments he makes which gets his team distracted isn't helpful.



[edit on 21-7-2010 by Pinke]



posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 03:29 AM
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Originally posted by Dark Ghost
Fair enough. Not sure I agree with the "it's his job to play footy and nothing else" part. Would you be saying the same thing if Nick Riewoldt went on radio and said he knows gay players and feels they should be proud to come out to other players?


True, but I think the difference between that is that Akermanis has a history of coming out and negatively speaking about other players or officials, and has violated club policies on numerous occasions. Jason Akermanis is all about Jason Akermanis...he neglects the fact that there is no "I" in team

Its in the best interest of the club to get rid of him, as he is supposed to be a representative of that club, when he voices opinion. Hopefully that make sense.

Being an Eagles fan, we kind of went through the same dilemma (topic different of course) with Ben Cousins. We gave him a couple of chances and he blew them, so we sacked him, and you know what a bad name that gave our club, right?

[edit on 21/7/2010 by OzWeatherman]



posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 03:33 AM
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reply to post by Dark Ghost
 


Here's my personal opinion. It sucks! Meanwhile, play by the rules of these private organizations you get involved with. Or not................

If a law has been violated, and it effects you, then sue, sue, sue.

I think of one of my childhood heros. Pete Rose, A Cincinnait boy, who got a job playing for the Cincinnati Reds. He was around for years. Left for a time to play for Philidelphia for big money and returned to the Reds as a player/manager. Great player. When he sucked he pulled himself out of the game.

But he began betting on the games. Not a problem, since he was bettting his team would win, straight up. But it was against the rules of the business he was in. Sorry about your luck, Petey.

Good luck getting into the hall of fame while you are stiill alive!

He didn't have to play baseball. But when he did, there were rules. If he didn't like the rules, he didn't have to remain in the system.

And he could have sold his name damn near to anything and turned big bucks. Now he can't get much of anything related to baseball, other than nonsanctioned public appearances where he sells his signature.

What a dumbass!

Meanwhile, what's wrong with betting your team will win, straight up?
Even Pete knew he was the best, but if he messed up, he took himself out of the game. Bets be damned, he wanted his team to win. Even if it meant a less experienced player replaced him.



posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 03:34 AM
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reply to post by Dark Ghost
 

Don't know much about that sport, but personally I don't think he should have been fired for those views. I assume they were the tip of an iceberg?
Maybe it has a large gay following?

However, if I was a gay athlete it would make me personally uncomfortable around him. It would make me suspect he's a homophobe and wouldn't like gay team mates. If he really wants silence around the issue he should shut up about it completely, and lead by example.
The fact that he found it necessary to pronounce his opinion that some players shouldn't talk about their lives, partnerships and issues (while others can by simply being heterosexual) shows that he does discrimminate.
Perhaps he should have said that no players should talk about sex or their private lives - but he singled out gay men, and if the team has gay players it undermines them, never mind gays in management or amongst the fan base.
Only gay visibility has given us rights and challenged stereotypes. So it's pretty lame to expect gays to go quietly back into the closet while others flaunt their heterosexuality.
There is still much homophobia in sport, and much talent is lost because gay men are socialized out because some still have the ridiculous notion that gay athletes are only there to perv at other guys in the showers.
However the tide has also turned in some areas, and many heterosexual players don't want to be associated with homophobes. Not only does it ruin their chances with the gay-friendly ladies, but it also feeds into a no-brain stereotype of sportsmen (just like racism).



[edit on 21-7-2010 by halfoldman]



posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 03:35 AM
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reply to post by OzWeatherman
 


Ok, that's fair enough. Thanks for explaining.

My view is still that it was unfair, but as you correctly pointed out he should have learnt from his earlier mistakes.



posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 03:38 AM
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edit because I didnt read properly

[edit on 21/7/2010 by OzWeatherman]



posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 03:47 AM
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The thing that bothers me about this issue is perhaps the way people are not allowed to be individuals when it comes to the "association by group" mentality. It reminds me of when you are a kid and your school principal gives you the whole "when you go out on the weekend you are representing this school! When you are caught smoking in public you are hurting the school's reputation!"

In my opinion, it is when you are in school uniform or on school grounds that your behaviour should be associated with the school you attend. Not when you are in casual clothes outside of school grounds.

Ackermanis did play for the Bulldogs and thus any time he said or did anything with the jumper on, or he spoke at a Bulldogs event THEN he should be held accountable for his comments. He should not be sacked for expressing his opinions on homosexuality in a newspaper column.

[edit on 21/7/2010 by Dark Ghost]



posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 03:52 AM
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reply to post by OzWeatherman
 

Err, I'm gay and definately not a religious hater-type.
Please read my WHOLE post.
I don't know much about that specific sport, but our Pink pages have a sports section about regular problems with gay and lesbian people coming out in sports.
On the other hand I also believe in freedom of speech, but in a sports environment (or a team environment) I can understand how an opinion can effect an entire team.
There are fortunately many straight, gay-friendly sportsmen, and they may not like the homophobic stereotype he perpetuates. That was my point.



[edit on 21-7-2010 by halfoldman]



posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 03:53 AM
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Hey Guys


I reckon its OK for Aker to have an opinion, nothing wrong with it, i am not gay myself, but feel that his comments were offensive to anyone, its not so much a matter of free speech, but of bigotry. I feel he has only himself to blame, as if your gonna behave in a way that's disrespectful to others who cant help they way the feel nor the way they were born it shows you as a person that is judgmental and have no respect for others different than themselves. His right to free speech is not an issue and this not why he was sacked, his free speech was not impeded in any way whatsoever. What he was actually sacked for was a series of undisciplined acts off the field that were adversely affecting the teams run at the finals, not this one incident. I feel to say that Aker's free speech was impeded is a pretty loose accusation, considering the facts i made above plus the fact that his statements and behavior were all over the news. He is fully entitled to his free speech, but if he wants to be a bigot there is, nor should there be any place for him as a professional in any arena, whether it be professional sports, or any other professional arena. Role models to the community should behave better and have respect for others and their beliefs, thereby setting an example that others can look up to and have respect for.
NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO JUDGE OTHERS SEXUALITY IN THE PUBLIC ARENA!
It is offensive, close minded, disrespectful, disgraceful and TOTALLY unacceptable in this day and age. freedom of "thought" is very important, so is freedom of speech, but if your gonna judge others in the public arena, its only fair enough that you are judged yourself.

BTW shouldn't we be more worried about the 2 party dictatorship we are forced to live under in Australia? Remember all democracy is, is 2 wolves and a sheep voting on whats for dinner.

Peace and respect to all



posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 03:58 AM
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reply to post by troye2407
 


Just out of curiosity, would you be ok with an AFL player writing in a newspaper column that "Muslims should keep their religion to themselves. If they don't want to encounter any trouble they should probably not advertise their religion to other players" ?


BTW shouldn't we be more worried about the 2 party dictatorship we are forced to live under in Australia? Remember all democracy is, is 2 wolves and a sheep voting on whats for dinner.

Yes we should and many threads about political issues have been raised. Since this issue regards Freedom of Speech in the Media, don't you think it is an issue worthy of discussion? I am not saying that his comments on this issue were the ONLY thing he did wrong; rather I am suggesting that certain topics appear to be taboo ("this is too far") when you are in the public domain. Unless of course, your message is praiseworthy and supportive.

[edit on 21/7/2010 by Dark Ghost]



posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 04:08 AM
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reply to post by Dark Ghost
 


Yep i agree to a point but as i stated a line needs to be drawn somewhere, and when you as a professional in the public arena and show disrespect for others beliefs, religion or identity, your not much of a role model. I have no sympathy for him, nor any one else that passes judgments on any minority group. He is, and was welcome to his right to free speech, this was not impeded in any way whatsoever, he was not sacked for it, he was sacked for his history of drawing negative publicity to a corporate organization.

Peace


EDIT: He could still make a similar comment and it would still make it into the "News" therefor his right to free speech has not been impeded in any way whatsoever.

[edit on 21-7-2010 by troye2407]



posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 04:09 AM
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Originally posted by halfoldman
reply to post by OzWeatherman
 

Err, I'm gay and definately not a religious hater-type.
Please read my WHOLE post.


My apologies, I certainly jumped the gun there

Sorry, I should have read properly



posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 04:32 AM
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reply to post by Dark Ghost
 

Especially gay people are often accused of being oversensitive at best, or pushing an agenda to silence others at worst.
Often I feel we are a football for political points, when neither side is really interested in what a diversity of gay opinion really thinks.
Therefore, unless people threaten violence or open hate speech I would say, let them speak. Just expect a response.
I've seen some people with an incredible pretence of public political correctness being the biggest bigots, homophobes and sexists in private.
So I'd rather have an open bigot than a two-faced "liberal". At least with somebody like that I know where I stand. But fortunately I don't have to be on his team.

What I do find strange is that gay people are accused repeatedly of making their sexuality a constant public issue. This is done on websites dedicated to expose the supposed evils of the "gay lifestyle". Ironically these sites and books are from fundamentalists who make it their task to talk about, and protest gay rights and sex 24-hours a day! THEY are making it a constant issue!

As I pointed out in my original post, if he found homosexuality a private issue then he should have led by example and NOT have mentioned it in public. "No comment" would have sufficed. He made it a public issue with a homophobic subtext, and that is a political game.
That happens all the time, and when gay people respond then it's us being blamed for pushing homosexuality into the public domain!



posted on Jul, 21 2010 @ 04:36 AM
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reply to post by OzWeatherman
 

No worries, happens to me as well.
You were off-line for a while, so I'm glad you came back and thanks for the post.
At least now I can consider resting in peace (zzz), without a silly misunderstanding.



[edit on 21-7-2010 by halfoldman]



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