Football's season of shame dives to new depths

Football's season of shame dives to new depths, by Jacquelin Magnay & Les Kennedy - 18th March 2004
(Credit: The Sydney Morning Herald)

A mother's claims that four rugby league players "competed" as they raped her intellectually impaired 18-year-old daughter has taken allegations of sexual assaults by footballers to a new low.

The woman said the attack had been horrific, leaving her daughter suffering both physically and emotionally. "She doesn't believe she has a future."

The latest claim came as other high-profile footballers caught up in police investigations across two states attended training sessions yesterday.

The AFL players Stephen Milne and Leigh Montagna, who have vehemently denied allegations by two women, appeared with their St Kilda teammates in what their coach, Grant Thomas, called a show of solidarity.

The Melbourne club had named the two players on Tuesday after confirming that police were investigating.

On A Current Affair last night the mother of the mildly disabled teenager condemned the extreme competitiveness of football's macho culture.

She claimed her daughter was raped by four league players competing in a Sevens competition in Longreach in Queensland in February this year.

"These men were competing against each other . . . they were actually competing against each other while they were raping an innocent, gorgeous student, who had just started college, just her second week in college. It is hideous, there is no way to describe what they have done to her, it is just wrong, it has got to stop."

Her daughter had been with other students at a hotel but at some point during the night she was separated from her friends.

"From two o'clock she was raped by four football players," the mother said. "None of the young girls out there are safe; there is a culture of power with these footballers who think they can do whatever they want in a pack mentality and they think they can get away with it."

A police spokeswoman confirmed that a sexual assault complaint was made about February 22 and that Longreach detectives were dealing with the matter.

The Queensland Rugby League chief executive, Ross Livermore, said: "If they are rugby league players they have not been identified. A lot of blokes get together, whether it be touch players or even some of the union blokes, and make a team to play in these carnivals, but if it is league players we will look into it thoroughly."

The NRL said the players were not affiliated with any club and had entered their own team in the Sevens tournament.

The Bulldogs, meanwhile, cancelled a board meeting at Belmore Oval that was to deal with the casual dress of players when they were interviewed by police two weeks ago about an alleged sexual assault by six players.

A spokesman, Bradley Clyde, said the Bulldogs were awaiting further information from the investigation and that the board would meet later this week.

Police sources have indicated that there may be a development in the case later today, but it is also expected that some Bulldogs players will be required for further questioning.

This comes as the Victorian police are continuing their investigation into an alleged incident on February 7 involving a woman in a South Yarra unit by two players from another NRL team, the Melbourne Storm.


Official websites




Saints in the clear over rape allegations - 7th May 2004

Bulldogs evidence existed: police - 28th April 2004