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AFL backs ‘yes’ vote for Voice referendum

The AFL has announced its support for a yes vote in the voice to parliament referendum.

The AFL has announced its support for a yes vote in the voice to parliament referendum. Photo: AAP

The AFL and Commonwealth Games Australia are the latest major sporting organisations to back a ‘yes’ vote in the Indigenous Voice referendum.

The AFL has aligned with clubs such as Geelong, Richmond, Essendon, Collingwood and West Coast in publicly supporting the voice to parliament.

Outgoing AFL boss Gillon McLachlan helped launch this year’s Indigenous round in Melbourne on Tuesday and the league’s commission met to talk about its position on the Voice on Wednesday.

The league made a statement via social media on Thursday morning.

The AFL said it had taken a yes stance after many discussions and consultation with clubs, staff, players and its own Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advisory council.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players have long made a stellar contribution on the footy field,” the statement said.

“Their off-field contributions are equally valued for the impact they have made on our game and our community.

“While we encourage everyone to seek the information they need to form their own views on the referendum the AFL proudly supports the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution through the voice to Parliament.

Speaking at the launch of the annual Dreamtime at the ‘G match on Thursday, Indigenous players Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti and Marlion Pickett were pleased by the AFL’s stance.

“It will be great to see the result at the end but it’s great to see everyone showing their support for it,” Essendon forward McDonald-Tipungwuti said.

Richmond star Pickett added: “It’s good for Indigenous voice to be heard.”

Commonwealth Games Australia followed later on Thursday.

 

Both groups have followed the lead of the NRL, Football Australia, the Australian Olympic Committee and Tennis Australia.

Rugby Australia also confirmed its support overnight.

RA ran full-page newspaper advertisements telling supporters it was time for a “level playing field” for First Nations people.

– AAP

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