This is an excerpt from a post I wrote a couple of months ago about how, as a predominantly Association Football fan, I had to ‘fight’ my basest code wars instincts.
This is about the creation of an AFL women’s competition. As it is in the news at the moment I thought it would be opportune to present it as a separate post.
Women AFL competition
PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images
The first thing I have to say is that the introduction of a women’s AFL competition is a great thing. But I can’t help feeling that the AFL, in its perception of grandeur, of being the ‘most important code in Australia’ has annoyingly hyped this to the max.
I was not the only one that felt this way. Greg Baum who is a senior sport writer at The Age tweeted:
Terrific, and all that. But you’d swear women never played until the AFL came along. And that there were no other successful womens sports.
— Greg Baum (@GregBaum) June 15, 2016
And another sport writer, Richard Hinds, responded jokingly
@GregBaum The AFL’s Messiah Complex now a Ms-siah
— Richard Hinds (@rdhinds) June 15, 2016
By reading all the hoopla generated by AFL House it seems that there was no other football code being played in Australia before they came on the scene and gave all this ‘opportunities’ for women to play.
Why do I feel somewhat peeved? Is it because I feel (a bit like the AFL ‘discovering’ Western Sydney) all of a sudden the AFL wants to involve women only when it looks it may be good financially and don’t want to lose to other codes?
Somewhat I felt like another totally bicodal journalist about this.
I already have a world class, kick arse women’s football team to support.
— Francis Leach (@SaintFrankly) June 15, 2016
But then I think so what? Even if they come late any sport that gives more exposure to women athletes (which is a big issue) is a good thing. The AFL with its media exposure and money can do this very well. Ultimately it is a positive thing if women feel they can go out there and play sport, any sport and be valued as athletes for it.
So I think the last word goes to sport journalist Angela Pippos
@GregBaum The point is women are getting their own elite competition – you know that thing men have had for ages.
— Angela Pippos (@angelapippos) June 15, 2016