A mum has shared her disgust and frustration after rowdy AFL fans left her seven-year-old in tears…

A mum has shared her frustration on a morning radio show after AFL fans left her young child in tears following a Mother’s Day match in Melbourne. Lee Quinlan told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell that she has had enough of spectator culture and is tired of trying to protect her children from ‘disgustingly rude and inconsiderate’ fans.

Inappropriate Behaviour

After the latest incident at the Mother’s Day clash, Lee says she will never attend an AFL match again and has decided to cancel her membership with the Melbourne Cricket Club.

“The aggressive nature in which supporters take on the game is bordering on intolerable,” she told the radio host. “It’s a completely unenjoyable experience and I’m constantly trying to shield my young children from both the verbal and almost physical behaviour.”

Lee says that the game, especially spectator culture, has changed since she was a child. “As a family, we love our football, but (this decision) has been coming for a while,” she admitted.

A Widespread Problem

It seems the AFL is not the only code to face a problem with inappropriate fan behaviour. Just last year, NRL fans brawled at the annual ANZAC Day match between the Sydney Roosters and the St George Illawarra Dragons, with radio personality Ray Hadley condemning those involved. “There are a couple that need banning judging by what I’ve seen,” he said at the time.

For Lee, however, the decision has already been made. “We would implore the AFL to have a look at the behaviour of supporters,” she said. “Maybe a consideration for the AFL is to have family bays that are heavily controlled.”

We think that all football codes need to look at ways to improve the spectator experience for families to ensure that everyone is safe and able to enjoy the experience!

Do you think that stadiums should introduce family bays? Share your thoughts in the comments.

  • I agree some fans are just feral….we went to a match in Adelaide and a supporter of one of the WA teams was swearing with the F bomb and Bomb behind us and kicking backs of chairs it was very scarey my hubby said something to him and he got nastier there were young kids and all around


  • I’ve been to footy games and never had any problems but there are crazy fanatics every where.


  • Makes you wonder who the children are. I certainly see where she’s coming from. Its not exactly showing her kids good examples of how to behave in public.


  • Yep, too many crazy antisocial fanatics under the spectators ! This his nothing to do with good sportsmanship.


  • That seems like a good idea. I have been to alot of AFL games and only a few times has there been trouble, but I would be worried if I had little kids with me at the time as it would be quite scary for them to witness things like this


  • Any games now are getting worse. Even the games that young children are playing there is anti social behaviour. I agree with this mother it is getting worse.

    • It is behaviour that needs to be addressed and anyone not obeying the rules should be out!


  • Family bays would be a good suggestion.


  • They have no drinking areas which is usually pretty mild. In saying that I’ve taken kids and really little ones with no trouble just need to alter security if people are playing up.


  • Rather than family friendly bays anyone not behaving and following rules and a code of behaviour/conduct should be removed and even banned. Family should be able to sit where they want and not be placed in a particular bay as this does not address bad behaviour.


  • My friend always takes his kids to footy and they love this outing with dad. This should be possible in a safe manner, yes family bays might be a good idea.


  • Yepagree, could never bring a child to events like these sadly


  • The culture of spectating has changed and people seem to think they can say and act as they please and frankly it’s disgusting. It is meant to be a family game to watch.


  • I’d be really hesitant to take my kids to a footy game, largely because of the spectators.


  • With the physical actions of some spectators there is sometimes bad injuries. I know a St. John Ambulance Volunteer who said it isn’t unusual to need to treat injured spectators and transport some to hospital. Sometimes it is alcohol induced behaviour. Not only should there be family areas, it and some other areas should be alcohol free. The St. John Volunteers are there mainly to treat players.


  • Family bays look like a sensible idea to me. Hoping that no-one starts bad behaviour there too!


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