Social issues such jersey as same-sex marriage

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In August this year, on a Friday night with the Western Bulldogs’ season on the line, I experienced one of the more painful incidents of my football-going Authentic Nikola Jokic Womens Jersey life. It came in the third quarter, when the Giants kicked away through arch-nemesis Toby Greene, a man well-known to our brood, not just for the boot to the face of Luke Dahlhaus that night, but for his callous hit on Caleb Daniel earlier in the season. Enraged, a teenage boy behind me screamed at Greene as he gestured to the crowd, calling him a “faggot”.My heart sank. Seated next to my girlfriend, my hand in hers, I surveyed the crowd with intent. She nodded in the direction of the boy who had used the slur, and I shook my head at the woman I presumed was his mother. The woman, in turn, angrily denied he had yelled the abuse. I stood, my voice shaking, and addressed the crowd en masse: “I don’t care who said it – it’s not OK”.
I left the ground that night feeling alienated from my Bulldogs family and from AFL football more broadly. Although no club or sporting body can completely control its crowds and the diverse communities that flock to it, I questioned whether the AFL would have the guts to publicly stand up to incidents such as this.The AFL has this week thrown its support behind the yes campaign in the marriage equality debate; on Wednesday it replaced its logo at AFL House with a prominent “YES” sign. In so doing, it belatedly follows a range of prominent sporting bodies including the Australian Rugby Union, Cricket Australia, Football Federation Australia and the NRL.
The latter’s stance on marriage equality was reportedly inspired by a plea from Ian Roberts, still the only openly gay NRL player (past or present), who wrote to Todd Greenberg asking him not to “miss this moment in history”. Greenberg responded by arguing that “one of the key pillars of rugby league is inclusiveness – and the game has a duty to back up its policy with action”.The ARU was similarly staunch in its support, two years after former Wallabies captains David Pocock and Stephen Moore took a stance against the use of a homophobic slur in a match between the Brumbies and the Waratahs. But despite the current captain, Michael Hooper, arguing that the Wallabies were “all very supportive of the yes campaign”, Israel Folau made waves earlier this week with a tweet to the contrary.
The ensuing criticism of Folau, a devout Christian, has since been used as evidence by conservative pundits of “bullying” and “intimidation” by the yes campaign (despite clear evidence that it is LGBTI Australians whose mental health has suffered as a result of the divisive vote). Prominent Authentic Bucks Youth Jersey News Corp columnist Rita Panahi went on to argue that the response to Folau proved the “last thing supporters want is sociopolitical issues intruding on their love of the game”.What such arguments fail to realise is that sociopolitical issues are inextricable from sport. Those who belong to marginalised communities and play or consume sport constantly juggle their love of these games with the ever-present threat of homophobia, sexism and racism – whether it’s attending a match where “faggot” is used to taunt an opponent, or watching Brian Taylor call Harry Taylor a “poofter” for giving a “royal wave” to the crowd when celebrating his 150th game.
The response of associated governing bodies serves as a barometer for how acceptable this behaviour is to the broader community. At its simplest, to support marriage equality is to assert that the rights of LGBTI people ought to be equal to that of others. The messaging inherent in such a stance is that they deserve respect in the same way that other members of these sporting communities do.That’s why it was so meaningful for me that my own club pledged its support for marriage equality (alongside Collingwood, North Melbourne and St Kilda) and why I hope that this support can trickle down to fans such as the boy at that game earlier this year. It is not just the culture of Australian sport at stake here, but the lives of those who love it.At least the Celts on the summer Lions Eagles Jersey tour Eagles Authentic Jersey now Mason Crosby Jersey know Mason Crosby Authentic Jersey the All Blacks are not entirely invincible.


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