Candice Warner has opened up about “vile” abuse she was subjected to in front of her daughters during the Adelaide Test match.
Warner – a former professional ironwoman and surf lifesaver, and wife to Australian cricketer David – was in the South Australian capital with the couple’s three children to cheer on their father against the West Indies.
But it was on Saturday, the afternoon of the third day of the match, when she was thrust into an unsavoury situation with a group of spectators.
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“The girls wanted to go see their dad, so we walked from one side of Adelaide Oval to the other, it was about 200 metres,” she explained on her Triple M radio program on Monday.
“In that time I had two of my three daughters – my eight-year-old and my three-year-old, we were hand in hand – and as we were walking past a huge group of people, a group of about five or six men who decided to … they were throwing vile abuse at me.
“I continued to walk and then I stopped, and I looked around at this group of men, and it was one guy in particular. They were laughing and they were pointing, they thought what they did was OK.
“I decided to confront these guys. I didn’t have to, but with my girls in my hand I thought it was really important to confront them, because my actions need to mirror messages that I give to my kids.
“I confronted them, and like any group of men who have been drinking they were weak, they were gutless, they didn’t own up to what they did, and the man who was yelling this abuse actually hid behind his friends.”
Warner made the decision to stand up to her abusers and make an example in front of her two daughters.
But she says no one else around them made an attempt to help her or to confront the men themselves.
“I just confronted them, I said ‘do you feel good about yourself? Do you feel good about yourself trying to intimidate me, to belittle me, embarrass me in front of my kids? You clearly don’t have kids yourself, it’s not OK’,” she said.
“It’s not OK to bully someone, it’s not OK to make fun of other people.
“The fact that in a packed stadium, when they could see a mother with two kids, clearly in distress, my girls were upset, not one person came to my assistance. Not one.
“I’m now starting to feel like it’s not safe for me and my kids to attend sport and support their father.
“We want to raise confident and fearless young girls who aren’t afraid to stand up for themselves and confront bullies head on.
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“It’s important that our kids aren’t intimidated by others, that they grow up and feel secure.
“With my husband being away so much I’m basically the mother and father to these girls most of the time, and I won’t allow my daughters to see their mum being bullied or intimidated.”
It was a tough week overall for the Warner family.
David issued an explosive statement on the eve of the Test match in which he announced his withdrawal from the appeal process over his lifetime leadership ban.
The fiery opening batter was handed the ban by Cricket Australia in 2018 for his role in the infamous Cape Town ball-tampering scandal.
The governing body recently altered its code of conduct to allow Warner to make an appeal, which he did, only to withdraw last week citing “offensive” comments made by the independent panel’s counsel assisting.
He is also hard-up for runs at moment, failing to make it past 30 in both innings against the West Indies in Adelaide.
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