‘I want my family back’: Former AFL star on his family’s pain after leaving AFL
AFL star and former Melbourne footballer Mark LeCras is being forced to live in a hotel and face the prospect of losing his entire family in the wake of the AFL’s controversial decision to reclassify players as female.
LeCras, a former All Australian and premiership player, is the subject of a court order to stay away from his home after being ordered to leave the country.
In a statement to ABC News, the AFL said the court order was for LeCra to remain at the property in Sydney and not travel to his native Victoria.
“As part of his obligations as a member of the club, LeCrs is required to stay at the LeCrap home in Sydney, subject to certain restrictions and limitations, including restrictions on travel, for the duration of the order, which expires on May 24, 2020,” the statement said.
ABC News’ Dan Renton reports on the court orders that have forced Mark Lecras to live away from home after he left Melbourne for the AFL.
The move came after LeCranas, 33, was named as one of four men who filed an application for the gender recognition ruling to be overturned.
A number of players who played for the Kangaroos and the Saints have since followed suit and have left Australia to avoid facing the wrath of their respective clubs.
Former Carlton and Geelong premiership forward Matt Kennedy has been one of the last players to leave Australia, with his family still in contact with him.
Kennedy, 31, told ABC News that his family was in mourning over his departure.
His father, Tom Kennedy, is currently serving a life sentence for his role in the 1994 murder of a young woman, who was brutally murdered at a nightclub.
He said he had to leave his family to face the pressure of facing the AFL on gender recognition, and that his own family had lost the support of his own parents.
While his father is serving a sentence in prison, Kennedy said his mother was trying to raise her children and was working as a carer for an elderly person.
I know what I did was wrong, but I’m not going to let it hold me back, Kennedy told ABC Radio Melbourne.
“[I have] lost my dad, lost my mother, I’m lost for words.
I’m just trying to survive, trying to get through this.
My sister has been in a relationship with someone for a number of years and has been telling me, I hope this will be over soon,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy said he and his mother were planning to file a declaration of nullity to seek a permanent residence permit for their children in Australia.
It was a decision he said he would not regret.
On Saturday, AFL president Mark Evans told reporters that he would review the case, and if the issue was “one of the issues that we think has got a significant impact on our players, then I’ll be looking at it very carefully.”
However, Evans said it was important to ensure that the players had an equal chance of being eligible to play in the AFL, and to ensure the AFL was taking steps to ensure it “has the best interest of its players at heart”.
“It’s about the integrity of our sport and how we deliver that, and so it’s really important that we have all of our players and staff in our view and the best interests of all involved,” Evans said.AFL spokesman Tom O’Donnell said the league was committed to ensuring that all players were treated equally, and the gender ruling would be reviewed in the coming weeks.
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