The Australian Football League, (AFL) is starting to be well known for it’s activism as well as the sport. Daily Telegraph columnist and blogger, Tim Blair wrote this rather satirical post about how the AFL will look like in 2038 if the so – called “political correctness” keeps going the way it is.
He’s not alone in his criticism of the AFL and their play on politics. Andrew Bolt has outright has vocally condemned the AFL’s Reconciliation rounds as being divisive rather than uniting the public. So, what is the role of the AFL when it comes to politics and social issues?
Whether we like it or not, I think the AFL is expected to have a social conscience about political issues. I think it’s only natural, given the diversity of the fans, that they try to accommodate for the wider community. That includes marginalised groups. I do think, too, that the AFL has a responsibility to offer a safe place for their players and would – be players of all backgrounds. For the time being, even though some commentators like Bolt may not like it, there are “divisions” in Australia. People ARE judged on their race, sexuality, etc. PEOPLE ARE MARGINALISED IN AUSTRALIA FOR WHO THEY ARE and, frankly, I think the AFL can have a very important role in addressing these issues and, more importantly, starting a genuine discussion, and, when needed, change.
People don’t like to be preached at. I get it. But through studying Community Services and now Early Childhood Education, it’s clear to me Aboriginal people and other groups are still marginalised, even if people wish that the truth was different. If the AFL can at least start to raise awareness and discussion and change surrounding these issues, I honestly can’t see what the problem is.