As reported by The Age Andrew Demetriou has said he wants to brief AFL Female Directors on the role following condemnation of the AFL’s mishandling of the matter. Demetriou has been very defensive about his role in the investigation of the Saints schoolgirl case.
What emerges is that Demetriou knew very early on about Ricky Nixon’s involvement with the adolescent both in his attempt to fix the problem and in his relationship with the young girl which dates back month’s ago. It is a serious matter that Demetriou failed to address this given his knowledge that there were photos of the girl in a semi-naked state in Nixon’s office and text messages chronicling their relationship being exchanged by them going back months ago.
What does this mean considering Demetriou’s given that he has already indicated he “strenuously disagrees” with the opinions of several existing female Directors including the longest serving female club board member Beverly Knight. Knight characterised the AFL and the whole AFL family as being a very powerful force.
All have stated their opinions that the AFL handled the matter inappropriately.
The occasion for the meeting, according to Demetriou’s public announcement, is to invite “further feedback” which he “welcomed“. Demetriou then proceeded to accuse two media organisations of sensationalising a lot of the information relating to the stuff. The stuff of the Saints girl case is rather sensational in and of itself, consisting as it does of a script that one wouldn’t even imagine a hollywood director of conceiving.
Given the fact that Demetriou and the AFL were rumoured to have been involved in threatening media interests and stifling discussion of the allegations. The mainstream media were relatively silent in the wake of the allegations when the story initially broke, with journalists such as Derryn Hinch and spokespersons such as Phil Cleary being the only persons who seemed willing to speak out about the issue.
Interesting choice of words Demetriou uses when he talks about discussing what transpired in the handling of the Saints girl case over the last eight to nine months. Whilst he states he made a deliberate choice not to play the affair out through the media, he doesn’t explain why he didn’t choose to run it by other Board members and key female personnel.
After informing us that he will be ‘briefing‘ the female Directors he concludes by saying “In fact, I think the AFL’s actually behaved as one of the most responsible organisations throughout this whole thing.”
Several female Directors including Gaye Hamilton, Peggy Haines along with former Director Beverly Knight have been vocal in expressing their views that Demetriou was slow to respond to the Nixon allegations and didn’t think the principles of the ‘Respect and Responsibility Program’ towards women were being effectively carried out.
Demetriou has already stated that he strongly disagrees with their analysis.
I guess that demonstrates that the ‘briefing’ involves more of an instructional than an opportunity to receive feedback
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