The AFL has hit out against ugly crowd violence after vision emerged of a man hitting a woman during Fremantle’s preliminary final loss to Hawthorn at Domain Stadium on Friday night.
The shocking video appeared on social media in the hours after the Dockers exited the finals series.
It shows a man wearing a Fremantle guernsey allegedly striking a female patron to the face with his right hand.
The man is quickly engulfed by surrounding spectators as other onlookers attempt to shield children from the violent outburst and usher them to safety.
A 24-year-old man from Joondanna was arrested over the incident. He’s been charged with common assault, obstructing a police officer, and disorderly behaviour in a public place.
The 38-year-old victim, who had asked the man to tone down his language, was treated by St John Ambulance officers for minor injuries.
The incident came just a day after new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull labelled violence against women as “un-Australian” during the launch of a $100 million domestic violence package.
The AFL used Twitter to voice their disgust over the incident.
“The AFL’s unequivocal view is women should never have to feel threatened or unsafe at AFL games,” AFL spokesman Patrick Keane tweeted.
“This kind of behaviour is utterly unacceptable and we re-state our commitment to standing up against violence.”
It wasn’t the only incident on a disappointing night, with Hawks players Isaac Smith and Luke Breust also involved in close calls with over-excited fans.
Running to retrieve a ball that rolled towards the boundary fence, Smith recoiled as a male Freo supporter shaped to slap him with his right hand before hurling abuse at the Hawthorn star.
Breust was involved in a scary incident after he was slung into the boundary fence where a Dockers fan made contact with him using an inflatable anchor.
A stadium official later confirmed that fan had been ejected from the game for his actions.
The incidents only served to further damage the reputation of Perth AFL crowds, who made headlines this year when Sydney champion Adam Goodes was booed loudly at a West Coast game in round 17, and then again by a smaller section of the crowd during the qualifying final against Fremantle.
Members of the crowd were ejected for making racist remarks during both of those games.