The AFL has canned its plans to hold a minute’s silence for Queen Elizabeth II‘s death in the AFLW Indigenous Round after backlash, as well as feedback from footy clubs.
After the Queen’s death was announced on Friday, the AFL said it’d be holding a minute of silence before every AFLW match this coming weekend.
That proved immediately — and understandably — controversial given the AFLW is currently holding its Indigenous Round and this country was violently colonised by the British.
There’s been particular backlash to the fact that the minute silence would happen right after the Welcome to Country, as it did before the men’s AFL game on Friday night.
to characterise how uniquely fucked australia is: before the footy, we just went from a welcome to country, straight into a minute silence for the queen, to a rendition of 'god save the queen', to delta goodrem singing the aussie national anthem— jeremy poxon (@JeremyPoxon) September 9, 2022
Well that minute silence after the Welcome to Country was a bit ick hey. #AFLLionsDees— Cristin Ruyg (@cruygs) September 9, 2022
You can’t do a minute of silence for the queen after a Welcome to Country. That’s fully insane.— Imo (@imogenrq) September 9, 2022
The Welcome to Country before Friday’s AFLW game didn’t happen, with SBS reporting that it understood the person conducting it pulled out.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported clubs were concerned about the lack of consultation between the AFL and club reps, including Indigenous liaison officers, about the minute silence.
According to the publication, a source said 16 of the 18 clubs gave feedback suggesting the minute silence could be held after the team warm-up or the gift-exchange rather than before the game.
They didn’t call for the whole minute silence to be canned, though ultimately that’s what the AFL has decided to do.
However, the men’s Collingwood versus Fremantle semi-final on Saturday will still include a minute silence despite the backlash.
The AFL also reportedly sent a memo to all AFLW clubs confirming the silence had been scrapped for the matches.
“As AFLW season seven are Indigenous rounds, all existing plans to respect and honour Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will proceed as planned,” it said, per SBS.
In other AFL news, the Brownlow Medal has also has its date changed in case of a clash with the Queen’s funeral. It was slated to be held on September 19 but has now been moved a day earlier to September 18.