Kennett's comments "racist", "offensive" and "not good enough": McClure

SEN - Tue, 18th Jun 2019 - 0 Comments

After Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett’s questionable comments surrounding security staff at AFL venues, Host of SEN’s Time On Sam McClure has

Kennett made the initial comments before doubling down on them and refusing to back down on SEN Breakfast this morning.

“You’ve got to have some understanding of what you’re doing. It’s a bit like asking a gardener to become a brain surgeon. You have no idea about the code, about the history,” Kennett said this morning.

“You might not have been able to play sport in the countries you’ve come from. I’m certainly not backing away from it at all.

"I’m not going to be bloody driven into the ground by some sort of political correctness."

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said in his press conference later the same day that Kennett regrated the comments, saying he had spoken to the Hawthorn president.

Soon after that press conference ended, Kennett sent out a tweet issuing a public apology.

McClure has questioned whether Kennett’s position is untenable after these comments and doesn’t understand why the AFL has not sanctioned him.

“In the space of eight hours, he’s gone from not backing down at all to a backflip in an apology online,” McClure told SEN’s Time On.

“McLachlan was asked today if there would be any sanction forthcoming for Kennett who at that stage had shown zero contrition.

“McLachlan said he could be sanctioned under rule 35, but that no complaint had been made.

“Now rule 35 is the compliance and accountability of stakeholders to the AFL vilification framework.”

“Clause 4.1 of rule 35 states no league participant or club official shall engage in conduct that may reasonably be considered to incite hatred towards, contempt for, ridicule of, or discrimination against a person’s or group of their race, religion, gender, colour, sexual preference, orientation, identity, special ability or disability.

“Now what rule 35 really means is that the AFL can do whatever the hell they want to do if someone vilifies someone and yet McLachlan said there hadn’t been a complaint.

“I wonder how Adam Saad would feel hearing those comments of Jeff Kennett on Monday and Tuesday.

“I wonder how Bachar Houli would be feeling. How Majak Daw or Aliir Aliir would be feeling or the CEO of the Western Bulldogs Ameet Bains or the head of community at GWS Ali Faraj just to name a handful.

“We have to call this behaviour out for what it is. What Jeff Kennett said was racist and he backed over those comments again this morning.

“The only reason he apologised is because he was contacted by Gillon McLachlan. That’s not good enough.

“What he said was offensive and ridiculous and he only apologised because he was forced to.”

GWS CEO Dave Matthews also told SEN’s Time On that Kennett’s comments were “appalling”.