Jesse Gabrielle claims he was subjected to “homophobic comments” during the 2019 season.

Former CBR Brave winger Jesse Gabrielle is suing the Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL) claiming he was subjected to “homophobic comments, vilification and violence” throughout the 2019 season.

Jesse says that these comments came from both players and coaches.

When he approached an AIHL board member to register his complaints, they refused to register him for the 2020 season, despite him having already agreed terms with Melbourne Ice.

Jesse is now suing the AIHL, saying they took “adverse action on the basis of his sexuality”, which is a breach of Sections 340 and 351 of Australia’s Fair Work Act.

The ice hockey player is seeking reinstatement, penalties and an injunction ordering the AIHL to register him as a player for the next season. A hearing for the case is scheduled for 15 September, the AIHL has not yet filed a defence.

Speaking to The Riot Act, CBR Brave’s CEO, Dan Amodio emphasised this his club was an inclusive space. As the club isn’t named in the lawsuit, he was unable to comment on the case, but said: “What I can say is that the Brave are an inclusive organisation on and off the ice, we take that responsibility very seriously and we won’t accept hate in any form related to race, religion or sexual orientation in any part of our organisation.”

Sunny Singh, the CBR Brave’s General Manager said he’d experienced first-hand the difficulties that an LGBTQ+ sportsperson faces, and he too emphasised how inclusive CBR Brave are, adding: “We will continue to actively promote diversity in the AIHL and welcome people from all sorts of backgrounds into our Brave community.”

Last year, Australian rugby player Israel Folau launched legal action against Rugby Australia after they dropped him because of homophobic posts he sent on social media websites. Folau pursued the legal action, claiming that section 772 of the Fair Work Act had been breached, which prohibits sacking someone because of their religious beliefs.

The case was later settled outside of court.