Brisbane’s playing group paused to take a knee at the Gabba on Friday in a powerful show of support for the AFL club’s indigenous collective.
The Lions’ indigenous players had addressed the club on Thursday night after days of protests around the world sparked by the death of George Floyd in police custody in the United States.
And their words struck a chord, the team responding with a solemn gesture popularised when former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt during the American national anthem to protest racial injustice and policy brutality.
The Lions’ show of support came at the conclusion of National Reconciliation Week, something indigenous Lions player Allen Christensen said the club has begun to take more seriously.
“When I got here six years ago it felt like we were a club where reconciliation week would roll around and we would just pump out a jumper and that was it,’” he told The Roar Deal podcast.
“I think there are a lot of businesses and companies and sporting organisations that do that and I’ve been thinking the pasts few days how I’m really proud that this isn’t a one week or two week thing for us, it is part of our culture now.”
All four sacked police officers involved in Floyd’s death have now been charged as protests continued across the US.
In Sydney there is a push from officials to stop the “Black Lives Matter” protests slated for Saturday in a bid to make sure COVID-19 social distancing rules are followed.
On Wednesday, AFL superstar Lance Franklin made a rare public foray into the race debate, noting that indigenous Australians are far more likely to be jailed than even African-Americans.
Opals star Liz Cambage encouraged Australians to march on Saturday, while NBA veteran and Boomers star Patty Mills has dedicated his life away from the court to the advancement and understanding of Australian indigenous people.