Moana Hope has opened up about some of the nasty homophobic abuse she had to deal with throughout her AFLW career.
The former Collingwood and North Melbourne star spoke out on Thursday ahead of the AFLW’s pride round, which celebrates the LGBTIQA+ community.
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The 32-year-old, who recently made her second appearance on Australian Survivor, told Channel 7’s Sunrise program how one incident in Western Australia rattled her.
“It was pretty full on to be honest, but it was more the hurtful words that they were using for the abuse,” Hope said.
“I remember the first time it happened was when I was playing up in WA, and I don’t normally hear the crowd because I’m normally just trying to concentrate on the game, but I had a gentleman just yelling the word “d*ke” and “stupid d*ke” it just became full on.”
Hope married model partner Isabella Carlstrom in Melbourne in August last year.
“That particular game I remember walking off, had my head down, little bit ashamed because I was worried he would say more hurtful things,” she said.
“(Now) I want to call people out on it because it’s not acceptable.
“When you’ve got kids and you’re at the footy you don’t want them hearing such horrible, aggressive, inappropriate language.”
Hope later took to social media with a defiant message about her relationship with Carlstrom.
“Nobody will ever stop me loving you and won’t ever stop me from being proud to call you my wife,” she wrote on Instagram alongside some photos from their wedding.
“Our future kids will know zero hate when it comes to love.
“I’m so excited to go Sydney Mardi Gras next week and be surrounded by love.”
Hope’s AFLW career
Hope played in the inaugural AFLW season for Collingwood in 2017, before moving to North Melbourne in 2019.
She played 20 games across three seasons, kicking 23 goals.
She was caught up in a controversy involving Mick Malthouse in 2018, storming out of a function she was a key speaker at after Malthouse allegedly made unsavoury comments about the women’s game.
“He said that AFL was a man’s game and not a woman’s game,” Hope told the Herald Sun at the time.
“And he said that on stage in front of 50 kids who had just played a boys and girls game of football.
“He can have an opinion but then there’s just degrading and disrespectful comments.”