Kennett: I’m not being racist but...
Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett has made some jaw-dropping comments about the ethnicity of AFL security staff, suggesting they are not fit to perform the roles as "new arrivals".
Speaking on 3AW radio this morning, Kennett said those who have been put in charge of determining adequate crowd behaviour have poor knowledge of AFL.
"I'm not being racist when I say this, but when I saw some of the footage, the people who are making judgments while they wear these authoritative coats are not people who appear to have a great knowledge of our game," he said.
"And yet they make judgements about what's correct and what's not correct.
"They are new arrivals to Australia, it appears. We don't know that and they could be born here."
Kennett went on to say he didn't believe the AFL when it said the decision to increase security was made by Marvel Stadium and not the governing body.
"All I'm saying is the sporting arena is where people relax, where they support their tribe and what is happening now is unacceptable," he said.
"I don't accept that the Marvel Stadium did it on their own. It is an asset owned by the AFL."
Kennett said footy fans needed to be given the chance to let their emotions out while watching their "tribe"
"The AFL have done a great number of very good things in developing our code. But they have allowed themselves to become the sort of social benchmark for every social issue in the community," he said.
"Whether it is same sex marriage, whether it is racism, whether it is crowd behaviour. That's not their job.
"The AFL have got to understand they have a massive responsibility to the welfare of all those who attend the games because that is the moment of time when the fans can get away from home, get away from work and just watch their tribe perform in a competitive battle. That's when they can let their emotions run free."