FREMANTLE has taken strong action against a fan who threatened to demand a membership refund if the players 'took a knee' for Black Lives Matter ahead of the game against Brisbane on Saturday.
The fan wrote on Twitter: "I love my Dockers. I've left my 2020 membership with you.
"But...... if our boys get on one knee on Saturday, I'm out. It's only 2 x $900 memberships, but I will remove my membership."
Fremantle's response was swift and called the fan to organise the cancellation of the memberships.
"We are sorry you feel that way. One of our membership services representatives will call you shortly to process your refund," the club said.
Dockers chief executive Simon Garlick told Mix radio on Saturday: "In reality one of the most important aspects of what our club was built on is our Indigenous players' heritage and what they've contributed to Freo as people players.
The @freodockers has the most games played by First Nations players of any club in @AFL history. Together, both past and present players stand together with the #blacklivesmatter movement ???????? pic.twitter.com/o26RAksUqX— Matthew Pavlich (@matt_pavlich) June 11, 2020
"While we understand we're not a political organisation and we understand people's right to an opinion, when confronted with something like this, it's not aligned with our values. It was a pretty straightforward decision for us."
Football fans were quick to praise the Dockers on social media, and a Bombers supporter and Bulldogs supporter told the WA club they would be happy to buy Freo memberships to fill the financial hole.
"Hey @freodockers - I'm a lifelong Bombers fan, but if this guy actually gets a refund please DM me and I'll get two Dockers memberships in his place. Fabulous work guys," Todd Davey replied.
And Zach Schloeffel wrote: "Hey guys, love this. Dogs supporter, but would love to somehow buy a membership (not a $900 one unfortunately) and donate it to someone who maybe can't afford one. Is that possible?"
The Dockers weren't alone with their swift response in support of the players' show of support.
St Kilda took a similar stance on Sunday when a Saints supporter expressed their opposition to players taking a knee ahead of Sunday's game against the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium.
Hi Jacques, we’re sorry you feel that way.— St Kilda FC (@stkildafc) June 14, 2020
You’re welcome to contact the club on Monday and we’ll process your refund for you. https://t.co/n01IHPRIdd