Nathan Broad: Three weeks punishment for a lifetime of suffering

Eliza Reilly Roar Rookie

By , Eliza Reilly is a Roar Rookie New author!

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    Here’s a list of the things you can do in the AFL to get yourself suspended for three weeks.

    You can wrestle your opponent and accidentally make contact with his neck region as the Bulldogs’ Jack Redpath discovered earlier this year.

    You can unintentionally knock a player out while performing the perfect tackle like Collingwood’s Brodie Grundy.

    Or, you can circulate a photo of a woman’s breasts without her consent, break the law and violate her rights in the process.

    Richmond premiership player Nathan Broad will spend the first three games of the 2018 season sitting on the bench after doing just that.

    When the siren sounded on September 30 it signalled the end of a record-breaking, 37-year premiership drought for the Tigers.

    Players, staff and fans alike knew the coming night of celebrations would be one to remember. But for one woman, that was for all the wrong reasons.

    Within a day, photos began to circulate on social media of a naked woman wearing a Premiership medallion. A brief police investigation placed Broad at the centre of the allegations.

    It was revealed he took the photos and promised to delete them before instead forwarding them to his teammates without her content.

    From there the distribution rapidly increased and soon anyone with a finger on the social pulse had laid eyes upon the provocative images.

    The Richmond Football Club had the chance to send a message. They were the first club to appoint a female President who, coincidentally enough, sat alongside Broad as he apologised for his actions.

    Earlier this year, AFL house acted on their respect for women by firing two high-ranking executives after inter-office affairs – but the Tigers showed about as much fight as their grand final opponents.

    Three weeks was deemed adequate punishment for the years that young woman will suffer. She decided not to press criminal charges out of the fear and distress of exposing her identity.

    Had the case gone to court, Nathan Broad could have faced up to two years’ imprisonment under Victorian law.

    Instead, the club played the role of the judiciary. No financial sanctions were inflicted which meant the club-imposed suspension was the only punishment Broad received.

    Richmond had the chance to make him regret his actions and signal to the AFL community that enough was enough. When it came down to it, the price put on a lifetime of humiliation was three pathetic weeks.

    At the start of this year, the defender was a fringe player who had to fight to cement his spot in the team.

    Though he eventually succeeded and was an integral member of the Tigers’ defence on grand final day, a longer suspension could have derailed his 2018 season and forced him to re-contest his spot.

    Three games is not nearly enough time for another player to prove himself. Presumably, Broad will be slotted straight back into a settled line up once he has served his suspension.

    Richmond elected to rate his spot in the team more than his personal character and the club’s reputation.

    Nathan Broad and the Richmond Football Club hid behind a drunken shield fuelled by their Premiership breakthrough while disregarding a women’s dignity in the process.

    More can be said of the decision not to penalise Broad’s accomplices, who shared the photos beyond the club’s walls.

    The AFL has taken positive steps recently with the arrival of the Women’s competition and previously discussed decision to sack key executives, but if the AFL is to shake the boys club label, then they need to make an example of incidents like this.

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