Adelaide Crows star Erin Phillips capped off a bloody amazing season with the inaugural women's Australian Football League when she won Best & Fairest at the season awards on Monday night.
The award is just the latest in Phillips' swag of accolades, including being voted Most Valuable Player by her peers, winning the Goal of the Year award and being named vice caption of the All-Australian team.
And, of course, her team – the Adelaide Crows – won the first-ever AFLW premiership.
Phillips told the Melbourne gala dinner on Monday that playing in the AFLW has meant "everything".
"When I was 13 years old I was told I wasn't allowed to play footy anymore with the boys. So to have this 17 years later; it's alright."
Phillips attended the gala with her wife, Tracy Gahan. They are new mums to four-month-old twins, Blake and Brooklyn.
The women's AFL has been heralded as a breakthrough for diversity in sport, with several out female players as opposed to zero in the men's league.
Penny Cula-Reid of the Collingwood Magpies and Mia-Rae Clifford of the Melbourne Demons spoke to The Age in February about being a couple on opposing teams in the new league.
Greater Western Sydney Giants captain Emma Swanson told Mamamia that sexuality is not a big deal in the women's league.
“To put it into perspective for you, I probably couldn’t tell you who’s gay or who’s straight and it doesn’t mean anything anyway,” she said. “I know that there are some girls who have husbands in our team and some girls have a same-sex partner."
Jason Ball, who was the first man to come out as gay at any level of AFL and advocates for change within the sport, said the kiss capped off a "fairytale ending" to Phillips' season.
Although Phillips and Gahan married in the US, their union is not recognised under Australia federal law as same-sex marriage is not legal.
Lane Sainty is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Contact Lane Sainty at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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