An Australian Rules Football star has been demoted for two weeks after he wrote a newspaper article telling gay players to stay in the closet.
In the article, published in the Herald Sun last month, Jason Akermanis said that an openly gay footballer “could break the fabric of a club”.
He also admitted to feeling uncomfortable being naked in a locker room with a gay colleague and when once faced with this scenario felt the need to leave the room.
His club, the Western Bulldogs, has responded by demoting Akermanis for two weeks.
After a furore erupted over the article, Akermanis initially claimed that the newspaper had added some of the more controversial elements to the piece without his knowledge, but he now appears to be prepared to own up to his mistakes.
“I have to take responsibility for everything I’ve done, and today is exactly that,” the athlete said after the penalty was announced.
The club also said that Akermanis will suspend his media activities for three weeks, and during that time “will consider whether his media and football activities have struck the appropriate balance”.