- AFL said no to Sydney Swans’ LGBTQ+ request
- AFLW is proud to promote inclusivity
- The coach was stunned by the decision by AFL officials
The AFL has raised eyebrows after refusing to let the Sydney Swans ALFW team display an LGBTQ+ rainbow on the field when they take on Collingwood later this month.
The governing body recently rejected a request for 50-metre rainbow-coloured arches on the pitch, a move which baffled Swans officials.
It comes as the AFLW’s Pride round is in Round 10, when Sydney take on the Dockers at Fremantle Oval.
But the Swans also want to celebrate the Pride Round with their fans a week earlier when they host the Magpies at Henson Park in Sydney’s inner west on October 29.
Swans coach Scott Gowans sees no problem in celebrating the Pride round twice.
The AFL has raised eyebrows after refusing to let the Sydney Swans ALFW team display an LGBTQ rainbow on the field when they take on Collingwood on October 29 (Photo: Swans dazzle at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in February )
Swans coach Scott Gowans sees no problem with the code celebrating the Pride round twice
“Not everyone can travel to Fremantle to celebrate,” he said The age.
“The AFL is not happy at this stage that we can have the arches painted in the Pride colours.
“We’re going to celebrate and do what we can for our fans.
‘And we would like the AFL to support this and allow us to paint the 50-metre lines and do what we can, but if not we will go ahead and do what we can to celebrate something that is very dear to us.’
In response, the AFL said the Swans could wear their Pride guernsey every week if they wanted – and recognized their ongoing work in the LGBTQI+ community.
But AFLW clubs are not allowed to change the line markings on the field.
Gowans confirmed that the club’s commercial team was working on figuring out how best to promote and celebrate diversity.
“I just don’t know why the pushback is happening,” he added.
Last season, seven Sea Eagles players sat out the Round 20 NRL match against the Roosters after refusing to wear the club’s inaugural rainbow jersey (pictured, join Jake Trbojevic, who had no problems donning the jersey)
Swans key defender Alice Mitchell is pictured in the club’s Pride Round strip from last year
“We try to do what we can for the community because at the end of the day it’s the community that supports us.
‘Inclusivity and diversity, that is super important for our value system.’
The Swans are LGBTQI+ leaders in professional sport, playing the only annual Pride match in the men’s match against St Kilda since 2016 and marching in the Mardi Gras parade since 2018.
It is in stark contrast to other footy codes, most notably the Sea Eagles in the NRL.
Last season, seven players infamously sat out the 20th round against the Roosters at Brookvale Oval after refusing to wear the club’s inaugural rainbow jersey.
The players mentioned religious and cultural beliefs in July 2022.