Daisy Pearce backs AFLW response to furore over Queen tribute

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Daisy Pearce (pictured left) after an AFLW game and (pictured right) Pearce speaking on radio.
Daisy Pearce (pictured) has supported the the AFLW's decision to scrap Queen tributes ahead of Indigenous Round this weekend. (Images: Getty Images/SEN)

Melbourne captain Daisy Pearce has thrown her support behind the AFL's decision not to hold a minute's silence during AFLW's Indigenous Round.

Queen Elizabeth II's death at the age of 96 last week sent shockwaves around the world.

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Many sporting codes around the world have been pausing to honour her memory, while many others, particularly throughout the UK, have postponed games entirely.

A minute's silence was observed prior to the opening AFLW match of the round, but it was subsequently scrapped for the remaining games.

Indigenous Round is split across two weekends and continues this weekend.

And Melbourne captain and AFL analyst Pearce threw her support behind the decision to abandon the tributes before the remaining Indigenous Round games.

The Melbourne captain said it was important to listen to First Nations people and educate ourselves on our history and the harm of colonisation.

"For me Indigenous round is a time not just for celebrating colourful jumpers… but for educating ourselves and concerning ourselves with the facts in this country's history that aren't well told, and giving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people a platform to tell their stories," Pearce said on SEN Radio.

"To me that is what Indigenous Round is about.

"What I've learned… is that for First Nations people, colonialism… represents the genocide of their people, the theft of their land, the erasure of their culture and way of life, the loss of their wealth, their basic human rights, and their children."

An emotional Pearce added that some of the atrocities against First Nations people were committed in recent history and that it still hurts families today that lived through it.

"This isn't ancient barbaric history, that happened way back when, this happened in our lifetimes. And the trauma and pain associated with that didn't end with the removal of that legislation," she added.

"It endures now and it has a very real effect on people and families and identities."

Pearce finished claiming the decision is an important move from the AFL in acknowledging First Nations people.

"I understand that the Queen inherited her role at a very young age, and was not directly to blame for all these past atrocities, and that she did an enormous amount of good," she said.

"But for Indigenous people she leaves a 70-year legacy as a figurehead of colonialism."

"I assume this decision… was a result of listening to those Indigenous voices who suggested it would be insensitive to honour and celebrate the head of state at a time where we as the AFL are outwardly denoting that we as a league are listening to and trying to understand and acknowledge their truth," Pearce added.

"I only speak for myself...but I was comfortable with and support that decision given the timing of where the two things fell."

Western Bulldogs director backs AFL's move

The move from the AFL drew support from members of the community.

Western Bulldogs director Belinda Duarte explained that commemorating the Queen's legacy "unearthed deep wounds" among Indigenous people.

“While for many Australians it’s seen as appropriate to recognise the significance of the Queen’s passing, we must understand what this brings up for First Peoples, the impact of colonisation and what the monarchy represents to us and our families,” Duarte said.

Daisy Pearce (pictured) in action during an AFL game.
Daisy Pearce (pictured) backed the AFL's decision to scrap Queen tributes for Indigenous Round. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

AFL reporter Sam Edmund revealed on Twitter that an Indigenous elder who had agreed to do the Welcome to Country for the Bulldogs-Fremantle fixture backed out over the planned minute of silence.

"The AFL's decision to banish the minute's silence for the Queen in the remaining AFLW indigenous round matches came to a head last night," Edmund posted on Saturday.

"The minute's silence for Dogs-Freo at Ikon Park prompted the Welcome to Country person to withdraw. AFL listened to club feedback & acted."

And speaking on Channel Nine's Footy Classified on Monday, veteran reporter Caroline Wilson claimed the AFL should have had more foresight than to plan the tributes to the late Queen during the AFLW's Indigenous Round.

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