Former Gold Coast player Joel Wilkinson is suing the AFL over racial vilification and sexual harassment.
Brisbane-based Shine Lawyers says Wilkinson - who played 26 games across three seasons for the Suns between 2011 and 2013 - will file legal action with the Human Rights Commission.
The case alleges Wilkinson received "racially motivated sexual harassment in the changerooms by other players on numerous occasions", as well as discrimination from AFL staff, Suns officials and teammates, opposition players and spectators.
Shine's employment law expert Will Barsby said the AFL "isn't exempt" from these sorts of laws.
"In Australia playing AFL is a full-time job for many young people and like any job there are laws to protect your rights in the workplace," he said.
"The AFL isn’t exempt from these laws just because it is a national pastime. Sport is a business, players are employees.
"(The AFL) have let our client down and allowed the abuse to continue, it’s cut short his career and he’s been punished for speaking out being shunned by clubs for his stance against racism."