Aussies take aim at Scott Morrison over appearance at AFL game

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·5-min read
Scott Morrison, pictured here at the AFL for Richmond's clash with Carlton.
Scott Morrison was spotted at the AFL for Richmond's clash with Carlton. Image: Channel 7

Scott Morrison has copped widespread backlash after he was spotted at the AFL in Melbourne on Thursday night.

The Prime Minister was in attendance for the season-opening clash between Richmond and Carlton at the MCG, spotted enjoying a beer with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

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And while completely harmless at first glance, scores of Aussies were left furious by Morrison's trip down to Melbourne.

Many were left questioning how the PM could attend the footy yet didn't meet with 'March 4 Justice' protestors through the week.

Thousands of women gathered in major cities across Australia on Monday to take part in rallies calling for gender equality and justice for victims of sexual assault.

The 'March 4 Justice' rallies have been spurred by a recent wave of allegations of sexual assault, discrimination and misconduct in some of Australia's highest political offices.

Around 85,000 women joined the marches throughout the week, including one in Canberra where two petitions demanding action were delivered to parliament.

A delegation of organisers rejected an invitation to meet with Morrison in private, asking the PM to meet with them in an outdoor setting instead.

"We've come to his front garden," Janine Hendry, one of the organisers, told Reuters outside Parliament House.

"We are 200 metres from his office and it's not appropriate for us to meet behind closed doors especially when we are talking about sexual assault which does happen behind closed doors."

A spokesman for Morrison said there was a standing offer for a private meeting and declined to comment further.

Scott Morrison, pictured here during Richmond's clash with Carlton at the MCG.
Scott Morrison looks on during Richmond's clash with Carlton at the MCG. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

There was then further outrage when Morrison made controversial comments about how similar protesters were being shot in Myanmar.

"Not far from here, such marches, even now, are being met with bullets, but not here in this country," he said in parliament.

"This is a triumph of democracy when we see these things take place."

Outrage over Scott Morrison's trip to the AFL

So it was particularly grating for many when Morrison was spotted at the footy on Thursday night.

Prominent lawyer Kate Denning tweeted: "When the going gets tough the PM goes to the footy or Hawaii.

"PM totally oblivious to the optics of 100k women marching in the March 4 Justice and him not coming out to hear them vs saying we were lucky not to be shot, shouting across parliament like a thug, getting on the piss at the footy with the Treasurer."

Dr Deborah Towns (OAM), the co-ordinator for Elimination of Sexism in Schools, wrote: "PM has time for footy but no time for women."

While Channel 10 Political Reporter Tegan George tweeted: "How good? I’d say probably as good as going to a march and being thankful you weren’t shot at."

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Journalist Matt Thompson also copped it from Twitter users after writing: "Whatever your politics, how good is it to see the Aussie PM at the ‘G having a beer! Love it."

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Among protesters gathered in Canberra, one held a sign reading: "Shatter the silence. Stop the violence."

The allegations involving people in Morrison's government are expected to dominate parliamentary proceedings over the next two weeks.

Attorney-General Christian Porter and Defence Minister Linda Reynolds - who has been criticised for failing to report an alleged rape of one of her former staff members by another - are both on sick leave.

with agencies

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