Game On column: As with sport, all love should be celebrated

Yes man: Marriage equality supporter AJ Ogilvy dunks for the Illawarra Hawks last season. Picture: Adam McLean
Yes man: Marriage equality supporter AJ Ogilvy dunks for the Illawarra Hawks last season. Picture: Adam McLean

In all the columns written on this page in the past decade, there was never any intention to be political. 

Well, aside from discussing the West Dapto Home of Political Football, but there’s another issue for another time.

In this crazy, mixed-up world of non-binding postal surveys and baby-kissing Prime Ministers having a beer at the footy, the politics has come to sport, rather than the other way round.

Australia’s sporting codes, with the billions of dollars and millions of eye balls they attract, are now the leading advocates for social change.

There is a long list backing the marriage equality ‘yes’ vote, including the NRL, AFL, Cricket Australia, Football Federation, Australian Paralympic Committee, Volleyball Australia and NBL.

Of course not everyone agrees, but these competitions carry significant influence, particularly as the nation’s leadership void continues, while ever Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott’s political death match continues.

 Two-code international and one-time AFL player Israel Folau went on social media to declare he could not support marriage equality.

The Australian Olympic Committee chose to sit on the fence. Flick to the Mercury’s front page and you'll see Hawks big man AJ Ogilvy backing the campaign.

Even Abbott’s daughter Frances broke conservative family ranks to side with her aunty Christine Forster and declare her support on instagram, complete with ‘vote yes’ T-shirt.

It’s such a personal issue, these points of view should be respected, as much as some of the vile propaganda and misinformation getting around should be dismissed.

For what it’s worth, I’ll happily be marking the ‘yes’ box. For equality. 

For family members who have waited their whole lives to marry. 

For friends who have suffered the taunts and insecurities because of their sexuality from a young age.

For everyone to have the same legal and societal standing as I do, as a 34-year-old heterosexual male with a wife, mortgage, toddler, toddler-related sleep deprivation and platonic cross-coastal love of Luke Shuey and his ability to kick after-the-siren goals. Anyone who follows my Twitter feed would already know as much.

So much of the ‘no’ campaign has a Brexit, Donald Trump feel about it. An aging baby-boomer population acting out against a world changing before their eyes.

In her instagram post, Frances Abbott says she doesn’t ‘really care much for politics’. I disagree, it’s important. Vitally important. But I do agree with the rest of her statement.

“I do really care a lot for love. All love is good. Let's celebrate it”.


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