AFLAustralian Rules Football regional body AFL NSW/ACT has ordered mediation for players involved in vilifying Kirsti Miller, a transgender player for the South Broken Hill women’s team.

The governing body stepped in after finding complaint of verbal abuse made by Miller were poorly handled by her club.

In April, Miller used social media to retaliate against comments made opposition players who called her “it” and told her she had “diseases”, resulting in a reprimand by her club before a game against the team whose members had vilified her.

Miller said she hopes the situation will result in education rather than punishment, wanting to see AFL Broken Hill become a world leader in positive change for people in the LGBTI community.

Melody Moore from Trans Health Australia praised AFL NSW/ACT’s response, becoming aware for the first time of AFL policies in place to prevent this kind of discrimination.

“I think that AFL NSW/ACT was right to intervene and they’re doing their job to make sure that the local AFL in Broken Hill are going to protect her rights,” Moore told the Star Observer.

Moore is satisfied with the result, but said there are a lot of sports where clubs haven’t addressed the issues faced by trans players.

“It’s new ground, because trans people are just starting to get a lot more visibility in society,” she said.

“I do know trans people competing in sport that don’t have any issues, but there are usually a lot of hurdles that people have got to overcome.

“I’ve found that there are a number of trans people that do want to get involved in AFL, but there’s a fear of being outed in the sport and suffering vilification and abuse.”

AFL NSW/ACT has issued a statement promising education for the clubs involved to ensure they adhere to the code’s standards of behaviour.

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