Former Premier of Victoria and president of Australia’s Hawthorn Football club Jeff Kennett defended Bonnie Doon Football Club for sacking its veteran trainer after it was discovered he is bisexual.
Said Kennett: “The club felt that once this had been pointed out and you had this gentleman there who was obviously close to young men – massaging young men – it ran an unnecessary risk and that’s why it decided it was best that he not perform those duties again. So the club was trying to do the right thing. When you are in charge of a group of young boys, as this club was as I understand it, it’s got to make sure. It’s the same if you have a pedophile there as a masseur, right? And you might say the pedophile would do no damage, but once it was pointed out to you, you have a duty of care to those underage children not to put them in a situation of risk. “I don’t know if we’ve got any [gay trainers]. I’m just saying at the moment we have a duty of care to our players and staff and you have to make judgments on that. If you don’t do it you end up with potential legal liability.”
Kennett later clarified his comments: “You have to have a higher level of duty of care nowadays because of potential litigation. I am not interested in the sexuality of a particular person. What I am talking about is duty of care and litigation, so I’ve been completely taken out of context.”