Good Friday Footy Debate

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‘Thanks for your support.’ IMAGE: Courtesy of the North Melbourne Football Club’s Official Twitter. 

Should we be playing sport on one of the most religious holidays of the year? We didn’t in the past, but Australia is changing and that change is challenging those who would rather have respect shown for the important three days of Easter.

You just can’t argue the fact that, Australians love their sport. There is no denying that. Let us make a quick obvious but positive note that when the AFL plays their Good Friday match it is an important fundraiser for the Good Friday Appeal which of course goes towards the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. So is there truly a problem?

AFL 360 co-host, Gerard Whateley had some comments to make about the topic on March 29th 2018 to Fox Sports. 

“What I do know is that both clubs have embraced the possibilities of that day, the true spirit of the day.”

“Both clubs have been in at the children’s hospital during the year. That will be an absolute feature of all that takes place, with bunny ears, the ‘Kick for the Kids’ and the Sherrin that has been produced.”

The AFL was only granted the right to play a match on Good Friday last year.  in season 2017 differs to other sports in the NRL and A League who have had previously games on many Good Friday’s. The AFL has never wanted to take what the day means away from people who religiously follow it. For the AFL, it may seem that potentially keeping the game with teams who produce smaller crowds may somewhat keep the day what it is and doesn’t just force it to be another ‘footy day’. For many Australians, Good Friday and the Easter weekend is a special time for them, it is only fitting that the sporting world not only makes the most of the opportunity to play but to embrace the day for what it is. 

Living in the digital age, you will find opinion piece after opinion piece with a bunch of reasons as to why AFL should or shouldn’t be played on such a significant day. At the end of the day, some Australian’s follow sport religiously and as of right now, there is going to be AFL played on Good Friday annually. There will always be people who disagree but that doesn’t stop the people who do agree in games being played. 

And it’s not just the AFL professional league, local level leagues are seemingly getting around playing on the Good Friday holiday too. The Eastern Football League held a 2017 Division One elimination final rematch on Good Friday which drew in a great crowd. There was also plenty of games going on across Victoria, from the Northern league to the Mornington Peninsula leagues and the TAC Cup had two country Victoria games being played.

So what’s the problem, if so many people love something enough, why can’t they continue to do what they love? And let us just remember, that the AFL and the Good Friday Appeal make a difference to so many young lives on this special day.

And just in case you aren’t a sport fanatic, take a look at this article and you will be able to find a bunch of things to do this Easter Long weekend. There is something for everyone across Melbourne. 

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