In the shadow of the pandemic, AFL, and the devotion of its supporters, has remained a constant - even if the game looks a little different.
Discovery of AFL founder Tom Wills’ involvement in the mass murder of Aboriginal people has made it clear truth telling about Australia’s history is needed before any reconciliation can happen.
No one did a cost-benefit analysis before accepting Tasmania into the Commonwealth. Should the Australian Football League do the same?
Rocked by recent events on the dangers of concussion at the elite level, the AFL has a perfect opportunity to adopt a wider lens and mobilise its network to keep footy safe, especially for the kids.
Australian rules football was actually played before rugby union in Queensland — and it was only a quirk of history that caused Queenslanders to switch allegiances.
Crowds, albeit smaller ones, will again watch the AFL and NRL grand finals. Crowds can bring people together but, since the time of the Roman republic, they have also expressed political dissent.
Professional sport has enormous power to influence positive change. So ahead of this weekend’s grand finals, let’s examine the carbon emissions of our major men’s football leagues.
Despite case after case of systemic racism against Indigenous people, the AFL has not been able to rid itself of a problem that has caused so much grief to so many.
The pandemic has caused massive disruption to cricket in Australia and revealed just how dependent many sporting organisations are on their broadcast deals.
A crowd can exhilarate the ephemeral power within us. Whether a packed stadium or a mosh pit, crowds brought us together in ways that were more than physical.
Why are sport broadcasters using fake crowd noise? It might be because crowd noise can help us bond with our tribe and acts as a psychological cue for when to pay attention.
Don’t spit, change out of your kit at home and clean match balls. These are just some of the ways sport is changing as restrictions ease.
The league is facing financial ruin unless it restarts play soon. Yet, even with strict biosecurity measures in place, there are significant questions as to whether it can effectively police itself.
Australian sports officials have thus far taken a wait-and-see approach to the coronavirus outbreak, leaving the impression they are on the back foot when it comes to preparedness.
Running, jumping, tackling, not to mention handling the ball, means Aussie Rules players risk injuries to their hands and wrists serious enough to send them to the emergency department.
Many believe a move to the winter would be beneficial for football, particularly as our summers grow hotter. But competing directly with AFL and NRL could pose a serious risk to the sport’s future.
The AFL and NRL have larger fan bases, and soccer more youth participants. Rugby union must find new ways to grow interest in the sport to reclaim its place in the Australian sporting landscape.
Consciousness-raising is a laudable goal for the AFL, but on race and gender issues, it needs to lead to clear actions, not just words.
The AFL Grand Final is more than a physical contest between professional athletes: it is a day we collectively make meaning, and create culture.
Debate about gambling has raged throughout the AFL season, but it’ll take a cultural shift for there to be any meaningful change.