Carlton legend John Elliott’s after-dinner rape gags
AIN’T rape a hoot?
It seems like the good old boys at Carlton Football Club just can’t stop laughing about former president John Elliott’s claim that at least four women were paid not to pursue rape allegations against players in the 80s and 90s.
``We just sort of said, `Righto, here’s five grand, off you go’ and they’d leave,’’ Elliott told a charity event in Hobart last week. ``There’s some very ordinary people out there.’‘
I bet they can’t wait to get you back next year.
And Anthony Koutoufides, who was caught on camera laughing at Elliott’s stand-up routine, egging the old drongo on.
And current star Brendan Fevola, whose considered reply embodied everything that’s endearing about the modern footballer.
``It’s nothing to do with us, we’re just worried about Friday night.’‘
Given all this rib-digging, ``turn it up champion’’ hilarity, Elliott must have got the shock of his life when Victorian police landed on the doorstep of his city office yesterday.
It would not have dawned on him that he might have to answer to a higher authority than the footy code of honour.
The temptation for fans is to shrug the Carlton affair off as another anonymous claim versus counter-claim, but the facts of this case are at least as damning as the group sex scandal that ruined Matthew Johns’ career and drew tut-tutting from the more ``civilised’’ codes.
Elliott’s spray against trouble-making rape victims had the effect of drawing out the woman known as ``Kate,’’ who claims she was assaulted at a party three days after Carlton’s grand final loss to North Melbourne in 1999.
The Herald Sun reported this week that at least three high-profile Carlton players were believed to have been present at the time of the alleged rape in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.
``Kate’’ said she agreed to have sex with one player but later woke up to find another raping her.
This woman doesn’t want money - she wants justice. And this is the kind of integrity that terrifies Shiraz-stained big-noters like Elliott and the ostriches running the AFL.
``Of the four or five’’ - who’s counting, right Johnno? - ``there was one that we were worried about, there were others we knew were not true or we were told by the players they weren’t true,’’ Elliott said.
Well, ``Kate’’ believes she’s the one that Carlton should be worried about.
No charges were laid the first time around because, as Victorian police chief commissioner Simon Overland explained, the investigation was bungled.
So here we have a woman who has endured a decade of depression since being raped and the state’s chief cop admitting that it might have gone further had the police done their job.
Still laughing, Mr Elliott? What about you, Kouta?
Returning to the Johns case (and you won’t get any argument from me about his punishment), he and any other player that could be placed in that Christchurch hotel room in 2002 were publicly flayed within days of the Four Corners program.
They deserved it, but exactly how do the circumstances differ from what happened to that woman three years earlier?
Where are the Carlton players who ``Kate’’ says raped her? Who’s trying to flush them out?
AFL chief Andrew Demetriou says it’s now a police matter, but isn’t it conceivable that players involved back then might be donning the colours of Carlton or another team this weekend?
And what are the full details of the ``bungled’’ police investigation, which sounds less like a procedural breakdown than a full-scale cover-up?
These are fair questions and they would certainly be asked in rugby league but not, it seems, of the AFL.
This is the game that has spent years marketing itself on everything the rugby codes are not.
Clean, skilfull, non-violent, female-friendly. AusKick, quaint team songs and kick-to-kick after the final siren.
It’s all an illusion created by Melbourne marketing spivs who have duped AFL fans into believing that if they don’t see drunken scandal in the papers or on TV, it doesn’t happen.
The reality is there have been incidents off the Sherrin every bit as scandalous as in the NRL.
Hands up all those AFL fans who want to talk about the $200,000 payment given to a woman by three players over an alleged sexual assault in 2000.
Or the $15,000 settlement given to a woman who claimed to have been sexually harassed by former North Melbourne players Anthony Rock and Wayne Carey in 1995.
Anyone? Didn’t think so.
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