For reasons that will likely baffle analysts for eons to come, the AFL thought it right and just to book Birds Of Tokyo to perform prior to this coming Thursday’s annual ANZAC Day clash between Essendon and Collingwood. Unsurprisingly, the decision has not been met very favourably.
The league has had strips torn off it from media personalities and regular punters alike, all of whom remain aghast and stunned that the league would choose that day to book pre-game entertainment.
Birds of Tokyo, apparently still a band, will play three songs prior to the game next Thursday afternoon, which also means they will be performing prior to the traditional and very austere pre-game ANZAC ceremony.
The Australian Army Band is also set to perform before Thursday’s game, but it’s the booking of Birds of Tokyo that’s wrinkled everyone’s brows.
It’s not the first time the league has booked pre-game entertainment for ANZAC Day; legendary Cold Chisel guitarist Ian Moss performed prior to the game in 2018. But for whatever reason, the Birds of Tokyo announcement has put a fire under everyone’s ass.
Social media posts from the league announcing the performance have copped an absolute pizzling from punters crabby about the band potentially distracting from the day.
No. This is a just wrong. ANZAC Day is for remembrance and reflection. It’s not a celebration. The atmosphere at the ground pre-game is magical. What is wrong with you?? @AFL @AFL_House @CollingwoodFC @essendonfc #ANZAC
— Lindy Bassett (@lindybassett) April 18, 2019
@AFL misreading the room again ????????♀️????????♀️????????♀️
— BAndo5 ????⚫️ (@Bern1009) April 18, 2019
This is absolutely disgusting and I hope the RSL comes out and condemns this strongly as should the football public. Reeks of the morons who say we “celebrate” anzac day instead of commemorate it. Sickening.
— Camille G (@Cami181) April 19, 2019
Fan of @BIRDSOFTOKYO get them in GF day. But this is the Wrong call. ANZAC day is a commemorative day! The minute silence and the sounding of the last post reflects the occasion, nothing else required! Remedy this ASAP @AFL
— General Soreness (@GenSorenessSC) April 18, 2019
Media personalities also chimed in to torch the league for the decision, with the prevailing thought being that it’s ultimately a disrespectful move.
— Andy Maher (@AndyMaherDFA) April 19, 2019
Poor call by headquarters this one
— Julian de Stoop (@JDESTOOP80_FOX) April 19, 2019
It’s the somber and reflective atmosphere that makes ANZAC day special. We are there to remember.
— Shelley Ware (@ShelleyWare) April 19, 2019
Whether the league commits to the performance and goes through with it remains to be seen. It’s also somewhat baffling as to why, as a band, you’d accept a gig like this which is bound to draw heat.
Either way, the AFL keeps on AFLing. Same as it ever was.