‘No place in our sport’: Netball fans’ ‘despicable’ act


THE Queensland Firebirds have condemned a "despicable" group of fans who abused and spat at a netball player and former Firebird at Southbank last night.

Queensland Firebirds CEO Catherine Clark said the club this afternoon became aware that a group of four women, including one wearing a Firebirds supporter shirt, had abused and spat at West Coast Fever midcourter Verity Charles.

"The incident involved four women, one wearing a Firebirds supporter shirt," Ms Clark said.

"One person spat on the ground in front of Verity.

"Let me be absolutely clear - this behaviour will not be tolerated by our club."

Verity Charles of the West Coast Fever. Picture: AAP/Tony McDonough
Verity Charles of the West Coast Fever. Picture: AAP/Tony McDonough

Ms Clark said she had personally spoken to Charles to offer an "unreserved apology" and the full support of the club.

"Those involved should be ashamed of themselves," she said.

"The person wearing a Firebirds shirt should hand it back.

"You clearly do not share our values. You are not welcome at our club"

Ms Clark said the spitting incident was particularly concerning in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

"The act of spitting towards anyone is despicable, notwithstanding the risks in the current COVID-19 environment," she said.

"Behaviour of this nature has absolutely no place in our sport or society more broadly.

"We are in the process of identifying these women and what connection they have to our club."

Ms Clark said the club had begun a private investigation into the incident.

"It is critical we support Verity and, at this moment, her focus is on winning a Suncorp Super Netball Premiership," she said.

"Out of respect for Verity's wishes, we have commenced an investigation into the incident out of the public domain.

"She wants to focus on her Netball and our Club will respect her request."

Originally published as 'No place in our sport': Netball fans' 'despicable' act called