“We’re not trying to be the social leader on everything, but issues come up from time to time that we need to lead on and this is one of them.”“We’re not going to solve anything through this one game. Some will be outraged and some will applaud it.”“Hopefully, we can make a small indent in young people’s lives so they feel comfortable coming out or having the conversations they need to have, and if they feel that little bit more accepted we’ve done our role.”
Meanwhile St Kilda’s chief executive Matt Finnis acknowledged statistics that show damning amounts of LGBTQI people believe AFL football games to be unsafe environments, as well as the link between discrimination, mental health issues, and suicide.
“The unfortunate reality is the LGBTI community haven’t felt welcome at sport or at the footy.”“We also know that instances of mental illness and suicide amongst LGBTI is at a far more significant level and that’s something we should all feel very uncomfortable about, and we should all feel like we should do what ever it is that we can to try and turn that around.”
The press conference, it should be noted, did not feature any prominent members of the LGBTQI community, either inside or outside of football. And that’s quite obviously an issue that needs to be worked on if the game and the round is to become something more significant and meaningful other than glad-handed backpatting.