It's a sporting organisation, part of a national (kinda sorta) sporting organisation that has a long history of window dressing and self promotion while completely failing to conduct any real action. Well, other than using that window dressing for self promotion.
I don't really care if FFC has pride markings on it's playing strip because that's just window dressing. If same sex couples are made welcome at the club that is something meaningful. Gesture politics should be disregarded completely as it acts as a smokescreen for systemic failures.
The AFL is great at gestures and that's where it ends. Witness the recent episode where a club president was proud to claim that there was no systemic racism while delivering a report that said his club did in fact have systemic racism at the root of some pretty bad problems. The AFL involvement? Ringing the club and telling them to change the story because everything was looking bad. The result, basically nothing except they no longer claim to be proud.
Personally, I'd rather get rid of all the gesture garbage and give the clubs and the AFL nothing to hide behind. If there is systemic racism, sexism or whatever, don't give them an opportunity to 'pretend' they care.
FFC has a good 'public' record of welcoming indigenous Australians as it should but if it later turns out that it's all just gestures and Indigenous footballers get treated differently I would be utterly furious and expect heads to roll. Judge the club on it's conduct not on how well it can dress a window.
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heycharger, TheColonel, pollyanna, Raglan Matt said You Beaut
Our acceptance of indigenous players has always been a point of pride for me as a supporter of the club. I’m sure we have probably made some mistakes along the way but we must be one of the front runners when it comes to positive contributions. I think we still hold the record for the number of indigenous players to play in the same game (was it nine?), which is amazing given that Collingwood do not have a single indigenous player on their current list! Also, at a time that clubs are being reminded of the need to go beyond the playing list, we have Roger Hayden as an assistant coach and Richard Walley as our number 1 ticket holder. Great stuff!!
Yeti, I take your point on symbolism, but I really like the indigenous round and our (and every club’s) indigenous jumpers; and based on what the players have said about wearing them and playing in that round I think the benefits extend beyond window dressing and self-promotion. There’s no reason to think that wouldn’t apply to a Pride jumper.
We recently had two Freo AFLW players marry each other, which means at the time of the same sex marriage vote the outcome of the vote had genuine, tangible meaning for those players (and presumably others at the club). When the custodians of the club (and the players’ employers) were asked their view on whether those two players should be entitled to legally marry, they shrugged and said they did ‘not seek to influence others’.
Perhaps the club was more supportive behind closed doors, but the vote was very much a public spectacle that was tough of the lgbtqia+ community. I won’t speak for whether those players would have liked the club to publicly support their right to marry, but I would have had more respect for the club if they did. Based on the outcome of the vote (70% in favour of marriage equality in Freo), I’m probably not the only one.