The AFL says it’s keen to be a leader on social issues such as racism or violence against women, as long as it doesn’t require doing anything too drastic.
“Our commitment to social issues such as violence against women, is strongest at the symbolic stage,” said AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan.
“Think of us more like a mascot, we don’t participate on the field but we’re on the sidelines cheering. Mascots are important, everyone loves mascots.”
Mr McLachlan said he could see how the AFL’s commitment to campaigns such as White Ribbon Day and organisations like Our Watch, could confuse people into thinking they would actually do something when tangible examples arrive.
“People forget that changing society is a massive pain in the arse. You have to sometimes do things that aren’t in your organisations best interests or your own. That’s not really our thing.”
“Life is more complex than that. That’s why next year we’ll be participating in ‘Shades of Grey Ribbon Day’ and supporting a new organisation ‘Occasionally Checking In’.
The AFL will also establish a new fast track apology system for when people say or do things which clash with the causes the AFL is using in its marketing.
“Saying you’re ‘sorry if people were offended’ and paying a bit of money to a charity will now instantly absolve anyone of wrong doing.”
“It’s important we get the feel good factor of being linked to these causes, without effecting our ability to put our agenda first.”