The winners of this year’s Triple J Unearthed competition have strongly rejected allegations of sexual assault made against one of its members.
Melbourne punk quartet The Football Club issued a statement on their Facebook page over the weekend, saying “certain parties” have taken to social media to publish “defamatory statements relating to the conduct of members of The Football Club”.
“These statements are without any foundation, designed to cause harm to the reputation of The Football Club and its members, and The Football Club absolutely deny them,” the statement read.
“As a victim of sexual assault, Ruby and the band find these claims horrifying in nature, and completely untrue in content.”
The band said it has worked “tirelessly” to be a voice for the LGBTI community and survivors of sexual assault, and hinted it is considering taking legal action against those who have published the allegations.
“[We] feel that these statements are an unjustified and unfair attempt to undermine their positive work,” the band said. “We’re pursuing these matters through official channels currently.”
Triple J recently announced that The Football Club were the winners of its 2017 Unearthed competition. The win means the band earns a spot in the line-up at Splendour in the Grass in July.
But Monday morning the band announced it won’t be appearing at the music festival.
“In light of recent events, for the time being, all future Football Club plans are put on hold,” the band’s frontwoman Ruby Markwell said in a statement. “I strongly deny these allegations.”
Supporters of those making the allegations have taken to the Triple J Unearthed Facebook page to call on the radio station to take action. Many have accused the station of deleting comments by those making the allegations.
Over the weekend, Triple J Unearthed said on Facebook the band would still play at Splendour despite the allegations. However, on Monday morning, a spokesperson said The Football Club pulling out of the line-up was the “right course of action at this time”.
“This page has required moderation over the past few days to remove potentially defamatory posts, including criminal accusations,” the statement read. “It has not been moderated with the intention of silencing commentary: This issue is incredibly complex, and we have heard and listened to the complaints made.”