Free as a bird: legal outcomes and public perceptions of gendered violence alleged of National Rugby League players : two case studies
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 10:05 by Fran Cole
Research about gendered violence allegations brought against footballers is limited in Australia and largely focuses on media representations. This research explores whether the legal outcomes of allegations broughtagainst footballers align with public perceptions. A socio-legal case study approach combining doctrinal legal research with a social science survey was used to examine two cases of gendered violence brought against professional footballers in NSW. Over half of survey respondents believe football players are treated differently to other citizens when charged with serious crimes. Yet the legal outcomes in these two cases are largely comparable to other sexual assault and domestic violence case outcomes in the legal system, raising further questions about media representations and public perceptions of footballers– as well as other celebrities – charged with gendered violence, and the effectiveness of the criminal justice system in managing these kinds of allegations more broadly.