Gay ads to air on AFL’s big screens |

// September 21st, 2012 // Media discussion, Sport, Within Australia, Within Victoria

In a major first for a major Australian Sport, the Australian Football League are set to screen advertisments from the No To Homophobia campaign at preliminary finals matches tonight and tomorrow, Friday and Saturday September 21 & 22, 2012.

No To Homophobia” spokesperson Anna Brown says: “The No to Homophobia Campaign welcomes the AFL’s decision to play a groundbreaking anti-harassment advertisement during the preliminary finals and its commitment to an ongoing partnership to address the issue of homophobia in footy in a systematic way.

“One of the No to Homophobia TV ads will be played on Friday before the Sydney V Collingwood game at ANZ Stadium in Sydney and will also be played on Saturday prior to the Hawthorn V Adelaide game at the MCG in Melbourne. This is a first for a national sports code in Australia.

“Discussions about playing the advertisements during the finals series were initiated by the AFL in August as part of discussions around their public support for the campaign.

“No to Homophobia will also partner with the AFL in the longer-term to provide input into their anti-villification, social inclusion and diversity programs at every level of the game”.

Campaign spokesperson Anna Brown said this was a significant commitment to reducing harassment and vilification based on sexual orientation and gender identity and would help the campaign message reach a whole new group of people.

“The AFL is one of the most prominent and influential organisations in Australia and we have been impressed by their commitment to working with us to reduce homophobia in the community. Their backing for our campaign helped us gain extra media reach into the community and playing the ads during the finals again means more people will hear our message that homophobic harassment does real harm to people and is never okay. This is only the beginning – we will be working with the AFL over the next year to help inform their grassroots work across the country”.

Ms Brown also sent a message to Yarra Glen footballer Jason Ball whose personal campaign to raise the issue of homophobia in sports received extensive media coverage last week.

“We’ve been in touch with Jason and he’s an impressive young man with a lot of courage and a commitment to helping break down the very real issue of homophobia in sports. His personal advocacy and his petition helped increase awareness of the issues our campaign was formed to tackle. Jason has been invited to become one of our community champions and we look forward to working with him in the future.”

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