Former AFL Umpire Speaks Out Against Abuse In New Campaign

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 14: A general view during the round 2 AFLW match between the the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne Demons at Whitten Oval on February 14, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images via AFL Photos)
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Former AFL umpire Dean Margetts is leading the charge in educating people on the severity of abuse in the AFL, following research that showed 8 in 10 umpires in WA experienced abuse in the last year.

The campaign comes from the WA Football Commission, and features umpires of all ages describing experiences they’ve had facing abuse as part of the game.

The research showed that a variety of supporters were responsible for the abuse, with parents (51 per cent), players (48 per cent), ‘Lone wolf’ spectators (48 per cent) and other spectators (47 per cent) all taking part in the negative experience.

Margettis, who has previously served as WAFL and WAFLW umpiring operations manager, said it was time to cut the behaviour out of the sport.

“We need our umpires to come back week after week, year after year so they can keep mastering their craft and stay a part of the game they are passionate about too. We are all responsible for making this happen.

“I am really hopeful that the faces and voices behind the messaging will strike a chord with the people who go out of their way to make an umpire’s day miserable.”

The goal of the campaign is to increase awareness at a community level, teaching people at lower levels in order to influence the experience of umpires all the way up the chain.

The campaign launched on Wednesday, running across digital, audio, video and social media platforms. You can view the video campaign below:

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