Top footy commentator calls for the AFLW to be re-branded the ‘AFLE for Everyone’ competition because ‘there are at least two players who don’t identify as women’
- Herald Sun journalist Mark Robinson made the call in his weekly column
- It comes after two AFLW players came out as non-binary in the last year
- The players are calling for greater education on what being non-binary means
Veteran AFL journalist Mark ‘Robbo’ Robinson has called for the AFLW to change its name and become an all-inclusive competition because not all players in the league identify as women.
Writing in his column for the Herald Sun, Robinson praised the growth of the competition and said that players deserved more recognition and bigger pay packets.
He also wrote that the competition should change its name to the AFLE for Everyone because there are non-binary players in the competition.
Darcy Vescio kicks whilst being tackled during the round 10 AFLW match between the Melbourne Demons and the Carlton Blues
‘Firstly, loved the pomp of Saturday and women’s footy – if we can still call it that? – is only going to get bigger and better,’ he said.
‘6173As for it being called AFLW, there are at least two players who don’t identify as women, so what about we call it AFLE for Everyone.
‘If the AFL wants to recognise inclusion – which they say they do – AFLW as a name is on notice.’
His comments came after two AFLW players came out as non-binary in the last year, including Gold Coast Suns player Tori Groves-Little.
She was the first AFLW player to openly come out as non-binary which means she does not identify as a woman or a man.
‘To be the first in the AFLW environment is daunting and scary, but I’m comfortable in myself now and in my body, so if you’re confident it’s not as nerve-racking,’ they told womens.afl.
‘I hope I can educate people who fall into the community, but other allies as well … reach out and have a chat.
‘I [had] told my closest friends, and a lot of them had been a part of the journey as well.
‘But the more people I told, the more confident I felt, and then it was just like, I just wanted to scream it and tell it to the whole world.’
The second player to come out as non-binary was Carlton champion Darcy Vescio who said: ‘Sharing this feels a bit daunting but brings me a lot of warmth and happiness.’
AFLW broadcaster Brihony Dawson is also non-binary and she applauded Vescio for coming out, saying it would help the wider community develop a greater understanding of what the term means.
‘That whole premise of “you can’t be what you can’t see” is important for young people, and also for older people because there is still so much shame,’ they said in an interview with The Age.
Darcy Vescio of the Carlton Blues (right) and guest arrive during the 2022 AFLW W Awards at Crown Palladium on April 5
‘There’s a lack of understanding, but there is a willingness to understand that, just as strongly as you feel like you are a man or a woman, that’s how strongly I feel I am neither of those things.’
In 2021, the AFL updated its gender diversity policy to allow transgender people to compete in competitions of their transitioned gender, and non-binary athletes to compete in competitions of their choice.