Woke-ball: Footy fans say the AFL and NRL have gone too far in pushing political targets while players continue to ‘kneel’ to protest racism
- Sports fans criticize the AFL and the NRL for becoming too politicized
- In recent months, players have been seen kneeling in support of race equality
- The sports have also previously been plagued by controversy thanks to protests
- In last year’s state of origin, some players refused to sing the national anthem
Sports fans are tired of the footy codes and players who express their views on political goals, according to a new poll.
More than half of the 1,000 Australians surveyed said sport codes, such as the AFL and NRL, have become too politically correct.
A third was neutral, while 17 percent disagreed with the claim that the codes had gone too far.
“Australians have had much of their favorite past, dominated by the narrow-minded obsessions of the Australian sports elite,” said Morgan Begg, research fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs.
“Australians look to the footy to look at the footy, not to preach what political or moral views they should have.”
Carlton player David Cuningham and Melbourne Demons’ Angus Brayshaw take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter move before their round 2 collision on June 13 (photo)
Think tank Institute of Public Affairs commissioned marketing research agency Dynata to explore more the minds of ordinary Australians.
AFL players and referees have united in a unified support of the global Black Lives Matter movement, which became popular after George Floyd’s death.
Mr. Floyd died in Minneapolis in May after a police officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes.
Since the sports season resumed for the first time in ten weeks last month, many players have seen “ take a knee ” – a well-known support of the movement.
This photo of State of Origin couple Karina Brown and Vanessa Foliaki kissing after a 2018 match (photo) sparked controversy with critics saying it ‘sexualized women’s game’
Kneeling to take a stand against racial oppression started in American football games, but polling data was reversed in December, before the practice started in Australia.
“This poll reveals the divide between the business elite that controls organizations like the AFL and the community that is expected to accept the AFL’s stance as an added price to be a member or fan of footy clubs,” Begg said.
The NRL came under fire earlier this year for its new Simply the Best hit ad for Tina Turner, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the iconic campaign starring the American singer.
Many fans beat the ad for being too politicized after Latrell Mitchell scenes were draped in an Aboriginal flag.
Latrell Mitchell (third left), Josh Addo-Carr (third right) and Cody Walker (second right) were among the Origin stars who refused to sing the national anthem during last year’s series
Famous images of the State of Origin couple Karina Brown and Vanessa Foliaki kissing after a game in 2018 sparked controversy, with critics saying it ‘sexualizes women’s play’.
The NRL defended the photo after posting the couple’s heartwarming photo on Facebook.
To a critic, the NRL’s Facebook page replied, ‘Hey Matt, welcome to 2018 … can’t wait for you to join us!’
American rapper Macklemore’s homage to same-sex marriage during the 2017 Grand Final can also be seen – as fans criticized his recording for his weak association with rugby league.
“We love the footy to get away from politics and advocacy, and we loved the original because it was footy-focused! Ruined, ”one man tweeted.
Today host Karl Stefanovic also took part in the debate at the time.
The AFL season resumed with Collingwood and Richmond players and referees kneeling in the center circle before the game (photo)
How do you unite the game if you only have a picture of Latrell Mitchell with the Aboriginal flag around him? That’s not unifying, it’s divisive, ”he said.
A large number of native NSW and Queensland State of Origin stars also turned down the pre-game anthem during last year’s series.
The players’ silent protest was part of an attempt to change the text “young” to “strong” amid criticism. Advance Australia Fair does not represent the 60,000-year history of Indigenous Australians.
Rugby Australia also alienated their fans last year by firing controversial star Israel Folau after sharing his religious beliefs and homophobic views on Instagram posts.