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Former AFL star Dane Swan accused of transphobia after criticising ‘male tampons’ that were actually protective underwear

Former Collingwood star and AFL Brownlow medallist Dane Swan has copped international backlash for tweeting a photo of products he thought were male tampons — but were actually protective underwear.

Key points:

  • Swan was roundly criticised for being transphobic and not caring about men’s health after his tweet about what he thought were male tampons
  • In 2019, Swan was the co-host of a podcast that went off air after being criticised for making light of sexual assault
  • Swan was yesterday announced as the star recruit for country football club Nangwarry in South Australia

The outspoken footballer — who was yesterday announced as the star recruit for the opening round match for country football club Nangwarry — tweeted a picture of supermarket shelves stacked with incontinence underwear for men, claiming they were male tampons.

“It’s been some day folks cause [sic] today is the day I learnt that men can buy tampons,” Swan tweeted.

“I’ve now officially seen it all.”

Swan then tagged his podcast co-host Ralph Horowitz to bookmark the tweet for further discussion on their show Hump Day with Swanny and Friends.

Swan’s tweet sparked a wave of criticism from Twitter users in both Australia and overseas, with comedians, journalists, and members of LGBTQI+ community hitting out at the 258-gamer.

“It’s a toss up, but for my money, not knowing what a tampon is is more embarrassing than not knowing what an incontinence pad is,” Irish drag queen and gay rights activist Panti Bliss-Cabrera wrote.

“That’s incontinence pads and for the record men have always been able to buy tampons — my husband had been buying them for me for years but you carry on with your transphobia my friend,” Scottish comedian Janey Godley wrote.

“One — men can buy whatever they want. Two — these aren’t tampons,” American writer and comedian Akilah Hughes wrote.

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Swan was also called out by several men involved in Australian sport, including some who criticised the 2010 premiership player for making light of men’s health.

“Thought you were an advocate for men’s health?” Brien Seeney, who runs the popular NRL Physio account, wrote.

“It’s a struggle to get men suffering from pelvic floor and prostate issues to not feel self conscious about using these vital products as it is without you posting this rubbish.”

“It’s an astonishing world we live in,” The Age sports desk editor Russell Bennett wrote.

“Not only can blokes buy tampons, blokes who have prostate cancer or — in the case of my old man — advanced Parkinson’s and associated dementia, can buy and wear protective underwear like these.”

In 2019, Swan, Horowitz and former AFL full-forward Scott Cummings were criticised for making light of sexual assault, with Cummings saying he was sorry for the comments he had made that led to the controversy.

“It was insensitive and irresponsible to make light of sexual abuse and I am deeply sorry for any offence or triggered responses caused by my actions,” Cummings said.

“I recognise the responsibility associated with being a person in media and the potential impact of my actions.”

The incident led to Cummings losing his job with radio station 3AW.

The podcast took a break after the 2019 incident, but returned six weeks later and has been running consistently since.

Swan’s only response to the latest controversy was to tweet “don’t be so sure Ralph, that is my New Year’s resolution” after Horowitz suggested the podcast had ‘herd immunity’ from being cancelled.