When the wealthiest of sports won't pay to display its wokeness you know how hollow the symbolism is. But it also raises some other red flags.
The AFL has become the woke hub of sports with a seemingly endless parade of virtue signalling featuring round after round. I find their symbolism rather pathetic and it has actually put me off the footy in recent years (that and Carlton's performance!).
This last weekend it was indigenous round. Of all the symbolism the AFL has embraced, at least this one marks a reasonable recognition of the contribution that Aboriginal players have made to the game.
However, it was the first time that the indigenous round didn't feature the Aboriginal flag.
That's because the Aboriginal Flag is a commercial product, with the copyright owned by one man who licenses its use. The AFL couldn't (or wouldn't) reach an agreement on terms for the use of the product.
That decision is a commercial one and sits perfectly well with me. Anyone who creates a product deserves compensation for others exploiting their work. If an organisation like the AFL isn't prepared to actually pay to display its wokeness then they miss out. It also suggests to me that the AFL probably isn't serious as it pretends to be about the cause. It has clearly chosen money over 'reconciliation'.
Over the years I have expressed a lot of reservations about the mythology attached to recent additions to Aboriginal culture. The 'Welcome to Country' was invented in the 1970's. The term 'First Nations' was adopted from Native Americans in the USA. The 'flag' was designed in 1971 and 'the dreaming' was known as 'dreamtime' when I was a lad.
These are just examples of how 'history' and 'traditions' have been introduced to further a cause over recent decades. If the cause is to reduce Aboriginal disadvantage then many would consider it a noble one, but let's not pretend that it is something that it isn't.
But back to the Aboriginal Flag. The copyright owner has given permission for it to be flown in accordance with the Flag act. Once again that's his right. However, we have to recognise that the Aboriginal Flag is officially a commercial product and as such it has no place in certain environments.
One of those environments is our national broadcaster - their ABC which is not in the business of promoting commercial products.
The very least we should expect is a verbal warning whenever it displays the Aboriginal Flag that it is a commercial product and the ABC does not endorse it or make any suggestion that it is appropriate for use by the general public.
Imagine that, their ABC actually complying with its charter! Now that's a cause I could really get behind.