Dani Laidley hits out at the ABC’s Four Corners after investigation labels AFL homophobic: ‘When it all turned to s**t they were the first people there’
Dani Laidley lashed out at ABC’s Four Corners on Monday after the company boldly claimed the AFL is homophobic.
The 56-year-old, who played in the AFL between 1987 and 1997, told the Herald Sun she was angry that the ABC current affairs program suggested the sporting code was biased.
“I was furious about the Four Corners episode where they branded the AFL as homophobic. Absolutely not the case,” she told the newspaper publication premiere of the Stan Original documentary Revealed – Danielle Laidley: Two Tribes in Melbourne.
In August, Four Corners released a report on homosexuality in footy, in which former AFL star Bob Murphy hit out at fellow player Jason Akermanis, who wrote a column in 2010 urging footy players to “stay in the closet” for fear they wouldn’t do. accepted by the League.
Speaking on ABC’s Four Corners, Murphy said he was “disgusted”, “embarrassed” and “hurt” by Akermanis’ controversial comments.
Dani Laidley hit out at Four Corners on Monday after it made the bold claim that the AFL is homophobic. Pictured
At the time, Akermanis doubled down on comments in the column, telling Channel Nine he felt gay players would be targeted if they came out.
“There’s a bit of a gay hunt going on where we’re trying to get people out of the closet,” he told the Nine Network.
‘I’m not sure if that’s very safe and healthy for competition. What you do in your private life is your business.’
In the Four Corners report on homosexuality in footy, former AFL star Bob Murphy (pictured) lashed out at fellow AFL star Jason Akermanis, who wrote a column urging footy players to ‘stay in the closet’.
Akermanis was fired by the Bulldogs two months after the column was published.
Laidley went on to say she would always be grateful for the way her AFL colleagues and CEO Gillion McLachlan were there for her when she first came out as transgender.
“When you live in fear, shame and embarrassment because of what people think of you, and when it all goes wrong, they were the first people there,” she said.
‘I can’t put into words how grateful I am that they accepted me. Throughout my journey, I may have always thought that football might kill me one day, but it has invariably saved my life. No question.’
Murphy said on ABC’s Four Corners that he was ‘disgusted’, ’embarrassed’ and ‘hurt’ by Jason Akermanis’ controversial comments (pictured)
Before switching, Danielle played in the AFL for West Coast and then North Melbourne as Dean Laidley.
She came out as transgender in 2019 and later started a relationship with her high school sweetheart Donna Leckie.
Meanwhile, Danielle beamed at the premiere of her new documentary on Monday.
The former AFL great was proudly supported by her son Kane at the first screening of the Stan Original documentary Revealed – Danielle Laidley: Two Tribes in Melbourne.
The 56-year-old also looked loved up as she posed alongside her longtime childhood sweetheart Donna Leckie on the red carpet.
The 56-year-old, who played in the AFL between 1987 and 1997, told the Herald Sun she was angry because the ABC current affairs program suggested the sporting code was biased. Pictured: Danielle with AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan
It comes after Laidley revealed the huge risk she took while still hiding her true self from family, friends and football stars while coaching at North Melbourne.
The new Stan Original Documentary Revealed – Danielle Laidley: Two Tribes features Dani meeting former teammates and players for the first time since her struggles with her gender identity and transitioning to a woman became public.
Laidley receives a warm and emotional welcome from football greats Peter Bell, Matthew ‘Spider’ Burton and Adam Simpson, with the latter welcoming her into his home with a kiss on the cheek and the words: ‘It’s been a long time, mate.’
“I was furious about the Four Corners episode where they branded the AFL as homophobic. Absolutely not the case,” she told the publication at the premiere of the Stan Original documentary Revealed – Danielle Laidley: Two Tribes in Melbourne. In the photo: Danielle with her partner Donna Leckie