If ever there was a case against affirmative action programs and top down enforced diversity then the disgusting actions over the weekend of AFL Diversity Manager Ali Fahour would be it. The AFL’s pursuit of a politically correct agenda has spectacularly backfired. Fahour would not have a job at the AFL if they didn’t have their various multicultural programs and if he weren’t a Muslim.
Fahour’s actions at an AFL amateur level game while playing for West Preston where he carried out an unprovoked king hit to the head against Whittlesea player Dale Saddington was captured on camera and have sickened those who have seen it. Saddington was knocked out cold (he could have been killed), he was taken to hospital for scans and now must take time off work to recover (he does not get paid for his football).
His family have been distraught over the attack, Saddington has hinted he may sue and refer the matter to police. He has also called for Fahour to be sacked from his position at the AFL. This is a view shared by anti-violence campaigners and media commentators. So far, the AFL has been silent over this ugly incident despite the pressure mounting for Fahour to be sacked. If he is not sacked the what sort of message does this send to young AFL players about how to behave on the field?
Their failure to act so far appears to show that despite their tough talk against violence they are more interested in running a protection racket for their mates than actually taking a stand. The AFL has form on this, despite their public humiliation of a 10-year-old girl for insulting Adam Goodes they talk no action against Eddie McGuire for suggesting Goodes should promote King Kong.
The incident is particular embarrassing for the AFL given the events of the last week with Bachar Houli, where the AFL Tribunal appeared to take into account his character references from Waleed Aly and Malcolm Turnbull by giving him only a two week ban for an elbow to the head which knocked Carlton’s Jed Lamb unconscious. Thankfully justice prevailed when the AFL appealed the ban and he received a four-week ban. We have now learned that Bachar Houli also had a character reference from Ali Fahour.
Fahour’s teary apology yesterday where he said he was “deeply ashamed” and “There is no explanation or excuse” for his actions is worthless. Reading from a prepared statement is something anyone can do, but he showed his true character on the football field with his cowardly actions. Somebody who has that level of malice in him does not deserve to be in any position of responsibility with the AFL.
It is also worth pointing out just how deep this racket goes in the AFL. Ali Fahour is the brother of outgoing Australia Post CEO Ahmed Fahour, Australia Post is the naming partner for the AFL’s Multicultural Program. The head of Australia Post which is a government owned body, underwritten by the taxpayer, writing a cheque to an organisation that is headed by his brother does not look right.
The AFL now has a decision to make, is it only interested in appearances by virtue signalling on social justice issues but behaving like your typical leftist in turning a blind eye to thuggery on its own side? Or will they actually do the principled thing and dismiss a thug like Fahour from their organisation? Fahour simply being suspended from playing amateur football will simply not cut it. It is not an isolated incident from Fahour as he was suspended in 2012 for exiting the field of play to become involved in a spectator brawl.
This ugly episode and dare I say ugly two weeks for the AFL shows that its effort to promote diversity the AFL has promoted someone clearly unqualified to be an upright representative for the league. It should make sure it’s next hiring to a prominent position is done based on a criteria of good character and not to fill a diversity quota.