Richmond players are expected to make a stand before their Round 2 clash against Collingwood.
Richmond players are expected to make a stand before their Round 2 clash against Collingwood.

AFL supports Tigers, Pies' stand against racism

Richmond and Collingwood players will make a united stand on Thursday night in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign.

The player-driven initiative will be ticked off by the AFL and could yet be undertaken by all teams ahead of the matches this weekend.

It could see the players take a knee, gather in a circle, or stand in a line in a symbolic commitment to unity.

It's understood the matter has been discussed at a chief executives' hook-up with AFL boss Gillon McLachlan.

McLachlan has said previously he was supportive of player beliefs and actions.

An AFL spokesman said that the players have their "full support".

"It is the players' voices that are the most important and they have our full support," he said.

"We as an organisation understand and agree these are critical issues and we stand with our players."

Rallies and protests have taken place globally in the past week in response to the death of George Floyd in the US and, locally, to raise awareness about the deaths of indigenous people in jail.

This week, Brisbane, North Melbourne and Gold Coast posted pictures on social media of players at training supporting Black Lives Matter.

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On June 3, the Magpies also posted a picture of Travis Varcoe, Isaac Quaynor and Fijian-born Atu Bosenavulagi under the #blacklivesmatter banner.

Richmond's work with indigenous Australia is second to none in the AFL.

The Tigers run the Korin Gamadji institute at Punt Rd. In the Woiwurrung language the name means growth and emerge.

It supports indigenous youth aged 13-19 and has for a decade, with more than 2000 pupils going through the programs.

It's also understood the Tigers are the only sporting organisation in the world with a registered school on site,  the Melbourne Indigenous Transition, which delivers a Year 7 program for 22 kids.


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Two years ago, the Tigers put five recommendations to the Federal Government after completing an indigenous incarceration report with Price Waterhouse Coopers.

The gesture from Collingwood comes a day after former Magpie Héritier Lumumba called on the club and the AFL to "publicly acknowledge" his "experiences of racism were inadequately dealt with, which caused further damage''.

It wasn't the first time Lumumba had claimed the Pies environment was racially toxic.

Magpies president Eddie McGuire today refused to comment to a Herald Sun reporter about Lumumba's most recent comments.

Originally published as AFL supports Tigers, Pies stand against racism