AFL player turned diversity and inclusion champion
VICState RecipientYoung Australian of the Year2017
In 2012, Jason Ball harnessed the national spotlight when he came out as a gay Aussie Rules player. With no openly gay players at the elite AFL level his announcement was a game changer in the hyper-masculine sport and Jason’s story quickly captured the media's attention and the public's imagination.
Jason was met with overwhelming support and used his platform to shine a light on the prevalence of homophobia in sport. Since then, Jason has marched in Pride March Victoria alongside his teammates from the Yarra Glen Football Club. He kick-started the Pride Cup – an event that celebrates diversity and inclusion in sport, and was the inspiration for the AFL's Pride Game between St Kilda and Sydney.
He’s trained AFL draftees on inclusive language, and has represented beyondblue and the Safe Schools Coalition Australia, speaking at schools, sporting clubs and conferences about mental health and inclusion. With tremendous courage and conviction, Jason has elevated the conversation about homophobia in sport.