Round ten of the SWFL saw players, umpires and coaches stand together in a show of unity before games, in a public display against racism, which has no place in society or in Football.
This public display was a result of a League Indigenous Player, Jye Graham from Carey Park contacting the General Manager of the SWFL to see what could be done to bring the game back together after a difficult three weeks, both from a community perspective and for the SWFL.
“Jye phoned me out of the blue and asked if we could have a chat about what we could do to bring everyone together in a show of unity”, said General Manager Jason Crowe. “I said, when would you like to come in, and later that day we met”.
“After seeing the shockwaves sent through the Community and the SWFL, I felt an enormous urge to reach out and see if I could help in any way”, said Jye.
“I was very nervous going to meet the General Manager about something that was still very raw. After sitting down and talking with Jason, I felt at ease with the commitment and direction that Jason wanted to take the SWFL”, Jye added. “I come in with a few ideas and wanted to bounce them off Jason, to see what he thought. With his full support and that of the SWFL, we were able to start something positive during the round ten fixture. I can’t wait to see what we will achieve with more people involved and more time.
Jye will lead a group of indigenous players in reviewing the current vilification and discrimination policy set out by the AFL, to lead change from a local level, with the ultimate aim to make changes at a National level.
“I hope to never have situations like what happened recently happen again. Though we have come a long way within the racial vilification space, I believe there’s always room for improvement” Jye concluded.
The show of unity around the competition extended through all grades across the weekend, showing from a simple phone call what can be achieved.