Wayne Carey denied legend status in NSW Hall of Fame as AFL steps in over domestic violence concerns

Jake Santa Maria
The Nightly
3 Min Read
Wayne Carey will not be allowed to become a NSW Hall of Fame legend.
Wayne Carey will not be allowed to become a NSW Hall of Fame legend. Credit: Lachlan Cunningham/The Slattery Media Group

North Melbourne champion Wayne Carey has been denied the honour of becoming a legend in the NSW Hall of Fame by the AFL due to previous domestic violence history.

According to reports in The Age AFL boss Andrew Dillon called Carey personally to tell him to receive such an honour when the AFL is taking a stance that honouring the victims of domestic violence would be inappropriate.

“The AFL acknowledge the decision by a committee of NSW football industry people to recognise Wayne Carey’s contribution on the football field as part of 100 inaugural inductees in the NSW Hall of Fame,” Dillon said in a statement.

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“His contribution on the field is also why he was recognised in the AFL Hall of Fame in 2010. Yesterday afternoon the AFL Executive were alerted to the decision by the NSW Hall of Fame Committee for Carey to be elevated to Legend status.

“We didn’t think it was the right decision. I called Wayne Carey earlier this morning to inform him of this and he agreed that being made a Legend would take away from the event and the important focus on the national response to the issue of gender-based violence against women.

“He also agreed the focus should be on the inaugural inductees and the nine legends of NSW Football that will be announced tonight.”

The NSW announced on Thursday that Carey would be elevated to legend at a function held at the SCG on Friday night.

The move was met with an uproar from domestic violence campaigners with Carey having had an extensive list of domestic violence allegations.

In 1997 Carey pleaded guilty to indecent assault after grabbing a woman’s breast while in 2006 he allegedly hit himself over the head with a bottle and wrestled with a security guard after an alleged domestic dispute with then-girlfriend Kate Neilson.

In 2007 Miami police were called to a hotel after Carey allegedly smashed a wine glass into Ms Neilson’s face and was convicted of battery on a law enforcement officer when he kicked a female officer in the mouth.

Andrew Dillon called Carey personally to tell him of the AFL’s decision.
Andrew Dillon called Carey personally to tell him of the AFL’s decision. Credit: JOEL CARRETT/AAPIMAGE

National Women’s Safety Alliance (NSWA) executive director, Katherine Berney said the decision to make Carey a legend was “disgusting.”

“I think that it is important for sporting codes to step up and say this is not the expectation we have of our players, our clubs, our fans, and so I support that, because that’s the way we need to get these messages out into the community,” Ms Berney said.

“Doesn’t it feel a bit empty when you then celebrate someone who has a history of harming women?

“I think when people harm someone, that is their legacy. I don’t really care if they’ve got awards or anything like that, it makes no difference to me.

“He pleaded guilty to indecent assault … what a great guy to celebrate and amplify because he can kick a football. It’s disgusting.”

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