Maskell winner's online outburst shocks club

A MASKELL medallist has come under fire on an anti-discrimination website after he made misogynistic comments via Facebook threatening to “skull drag” a girl’s “head thru glass”.

The behaviour of former Warrnambool footballer Rhys Raymond was highlighted by TheAntiBogan, a blog dedicated to republishing “hate-filled diatribes” from “racists, sexists, and homophobes” in the hopes they will “realise that there were actually real-life consequences” to their discriminatory comments.

Raymond, a joint winner of the 2011 Maskell Medal who now plays for Geelong West St Peter’s, has been reprimanded by his club, which issues every footballer with a handbook on appropriate behaviour on social media.

According to TheAntiBogan site, Raymond’s insults were initially directed at a girl who posted “a photo of herself in a bikini to Facebook (which girl hasn’t?) in response to being verbally abused by a car full of boys driving past the beach — one boy in particular screamed obscenities and implied that she was overweight”.

Raymond commented on her photo, saying: “You attention seeking whore get over it you rat (sic)” and complained about people “clogging up my news feed with fat bitches in bikinis”.

When some of the girl’s friends hit back at Raymond, he responded by referring to them as “either a meth baby or your mum was a rape victim of chopper Reid (sic)” and saying that he would wear a pair of speedos “when I’m skull dragging your head thru glass ... ”.

An administrator of TheAntiBogan blog, Ed, said it was the “skull dragging” comment that had alarmed them when they were tipped off to it by a reader.

“Basically it’s a direct threat of violence, whether you take it seriously or not,” Ed said.

He said he and his fellow administrators had worked on the site together for a few years, united by “a common hatred of racial, misogynistic and homophobic vilification”.

“Often we tried to get things taken off Facebook, but they’re very slow to act on these things,” he said.

“A lot of people were saying we’re trying to censor freedom of speech, so we thought we’d flip that around and go ‘OK, we’ll republish their comments for everyone to see’.

“They’re not liking it, that’s for sure.”

Meanwhile, Geelong West St Peter’s Sports Club president Danny O’Leary said the behaviour of Raymond was completely unacceptable.

“As a club, we are extremely disappointed that a member of our club would attempt to smear or make derogatory or inappropriate comments about another person, either verbally or through any means,” O’Leary said in a written statement.

“We work extremely hard in educating our young people in developing in life to be good role models. 

“We have spoken briefly to the player concerned, and he is extremely embarrassed and disgusted by his own actions, and insists this is not a reflection of his view on women. We will sit down with this player at the appropriate time and discuss further the education process we have in place and address this accordingly. 

“GWSP are a loyal and family-orientated club that has seen junior participation in both football and netball increase dramatically over the past years, which is as result of the family values that we hold so high, and as a club will not tolerate any forms of cyber-bullying/trolling.”

Raymond did not answer The Standard’s calls.

It is unknown whether the victims have reported the matter to police.

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