- Adelaide AFL star Warren Tredrea is suing Channel Nine for axing him this year
- The Hall of Fame inductee said he lost his job because he didn’t get Covid jabs
- The former Port Adelaide captain said it was ‘breach of contract’ to get rid of him
AFL great Warren Tredrea is suing his former TV bosses at Channel Nine after a furious row exploded when he was ordered to get a Covid jab.
But after the former Port Adelaide Football Club captain refused, he claims he was banned from the studios and booted out of his $192,500-a-year job.
Now the 43-year-old footy hero has launched legal action in the federal court against Channel Nine South Australia for ‘breach of contract’.
He insists he is is ‘pro choice’ and not an anti-vaxxer, and said at the time of the row: ‘I’m fully vaccinated… but I’m not Covid vaccinated.
‘Everyone is entitled to what they want to do because it’s your body.’
Nine SA told staff a year ago they had to get both Covid jabs by December last year if they wanted to enter the premises, with workers required to prove their status with a digital certificate.
But the AFL Hall of Fame star refused to comply with the orders and says he was subsequently axed mid-contract on January 4 this year.
He had refused to back down in the row and said he was entitled to choose whether or not to be vaccinated.
A clause in Tredrea’s contract said he had to follow ‘all reasonable directions’ of the network – but the player-turned-presenter insists the mandatory Covid vaccinations were unreasonable.
‘It’s everyone’s individual situation and choice. So if a player doesn’t want to do it, that’s fine, that’s their decision,’ he said at the time.
‘You shouldn’t be able to lose your employment.’
He added: ‘I’m not an anti-vaxxer and I’m not a doctor, and I’m not trying to make out I am.
‘That’s all I’ll say – make your own choice and do your own homework.’
Tredrea claims his refusal to be jabbed was not serious misconduct and he did nothing which could ’cause damage to the reputation or business of his employer’.
He is now seeking damages for breach of contract and claims the job loss cost him $176,458.32 plus GST in lost income.
Tredrea – who won the club’s first Premiership with their 2004 grand final victory – is demanding the value of the outstanding amount left on his two year deal and the lost opportunity to renew his agreement later this year.
His papers filed to the court say he is ‘popularly regarded as one of the, if not the, club’s greatest player in the AFL,’ reports the Adelaide Advertiser.
But Tredrea questioned the effectiveness and the need for vaccines.
His claim to court insists a non-vaccinated person with the Delta or Omicron variant had a similar risk to passing the virus on as a jabbed person did.
And he claims there is a very low risk of mortality and serious disease to other workers.
His statement of claim also alleges there was an increased risk of certain medical conditions associated with the AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
The court documents say there were other options the company could have used to facilitate non-vaccinated people.
This included improving ventilation, social distancing and using RAT tests.
Both Tredrea and Nine declined to comment on the legal action.
But at the time of the work ban for unvaccinated staff, the TV network said it was for the ‘health and safety of our people and the continuity of operations.
‘As such we are working to implement processes in our workplaces to ensure we have positive confirmation of vaccination status for everyone who comes onto our sites around the country from December 1 to ensure we are operating within the relevant health regulations.’