St Kilda's Milne fined over gay slur
By Greg Buckle
21:56 AEST Thu Aug 9 2012

St Kilda have fined their small forward Stephen Milne $3000 for making a homophobic remark against Collingwood's Harry O'Brien, even though there was no complaint from the Magpie.

"It has been confirmed that Milne made an inappropriate homophobic comment towards O'Brien during the course of play in last weekend's round 19 match at the MCG which has breached the AFL Players' Code of Conduct and the AFL's Policy on Discrimination and Vilification," the Saints said in a statement on Thursday night.

"As a consequence of this breach, Milne will be sanctioned $3000 by the St Kilda FC and be required to undertake an AFL Education Program to address the inappropriate nature of his comments."

Milne, who has previously been sanctioned for similar behaviour, apologised for his comments and any offence caused, the Saints said.

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley said O'Brien wasn't affected by the remark.

"Harry straight after the game wanted nothing to do with it (making any complaint)," Buckley told Radio 3AW on Thursday night.

"Our understanding is it's not vilification unless the person receiving the comments is concerned by it.

"I think we're all concerned by the slur itself and the fact it gets out in the open forum because people are going to be offended when a comment like that gets out in the open forum.

"But for Harry's part it didn't affect him on the night."

AFL football operations manager Adrian Anderson supports St Kilda's sanction.

"It is simply not acceptable - even in the heat of battle - for AFL players to use homophobic insults on the football field," Anderson said.

"The AFL investigated player Milne's comments last weekend at the MCG and found that they breached the Players' Code of Conduct and also the AFL's policy on vilification.

"The St Kilda Football Club is to be commended for taking this action and sending a strong message that homophobic comments are unacceptable."

Anderson said he hoped the combination of a fine and education would ensure it did not happen again.

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