'We are terrified': AFLW player speaks out at anti-vaxx rally

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·Sports Reporter
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Adelaide Crows player Deni Varnhagen is pictured attending an anti-vaccination protest in Adelaide.
Adelaide Crows player Deni Varnhagen attended a protest for healthcare workers in South Australia who were stood down due to their refusal to be vaccinated by the November 1 deadline. Pictures: Channel 7/Getty Images

Adelaide Crows premiership player Deni Varnhagen has again doubled down on her anti-vaccination stance, saying she is 'terrified' of being 'at threat' of losing her job.

In addition to being unable to train and play with the Crows due to her refusal to be vaccinated, Varnhagen's career as a nurse is also in jeopardy.

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The 29-year-old spoke at a rally protesting South Australia's vaccine mandate on Tuesday, after healthcare workers who had not been vaccinated by the November 1 deadline were stood down.

Varnhagen works as an intensive care and anaesthetic nurse, even working with the AFL on a campaign to recognise the efforts of health workers back in 2020.

However the Crows defender has changed her tune, hitting out at both the AFL and the South Australian government for requiring vaccination against Covid-19, which she labelled 'a medical experiment'.

Sporting a sign that read “I (love) being a nurse” and “coercion is not consent”, Varnhagen claimed 'There's a lot that's in the news that isn't speaking the truth' when she spoke with 7 News at the protest.

"I love being a nurse and coercion is not consent so it's pretty self-explanatory," Varnhagen said.

"I'm scared for all of us nurses, we're all terrified, we love working and want to be back working.

“Once they finish attacking us, they're attacking police and they’re just going to keep attacking different fields of work, which isn’t right.

“Everyone should have the right to choose what enters their body … and where there is risk there should be choice.”

South Australia's healthcare workers were stood down on Monday if they were yet to receive their jab before the November 1 deadline.

More than 80 per cent of the population aged over 16 in NSW and Victoria have received both doses, while South Australia is approaching 70 per cent fully vaccinated.

Deni Varnhagen continues anti-vaccination stance at Adelaide protest

The league released its long-awaited vaccination policy last month, with clubs to ultimately determine action on staff who refuse vaccinations.

If players do not have a medical exemption for not receiving the jab, clubs will have options to transfer them to the inactive list, pay them no less than 25 per cent of their contracted salary, or agree to part ways.

Sydney Swans and GWS players will need to be fully vaccinated by December 17, while clubs in Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia will need to have both doses by February 18.

Victorian clubs already need to be vaccinated to comply with the state government's protocols.

Deni Varnhagen's refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19 could cause problems for the Adelaide Crows. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)
Deni Varnhagen's refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19 could cause problems for the Adelaide Crows. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

It is not the first time Varnhagen has attended an anti-vaccination rally, after posting a video to her Instagram last month showing people marching for "freedom of choice".

She then followed it up with another clip holding a sign that read "health care hero's (sic) in 2020 ... unvaxed unwanted in 2021".

Varnhagen has played 31 games for the Crows across the first five seasons of AFLW.

The club has previously said it strongly encourages people to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

With AAP

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