Pearce backs AFLW minute's silence call

·2-min read

Melbourne captain Daisy Pearce says she wholeheartedly supports the AFL's decision not to hold a minute's silence for Queen Elizabeth II before AFLW games during Indigenous round.

There was a minute's silence for the late monarch ahead of last Friday evening's game between the Western Bulldogs and Fremantle and the league had planned to repeat that for every AFLW game.

The AFL backflipped later on Friday after feedback from clubs that it was culturally insensitive to interrupt Indigenous round plans with the minute's silence.

Pearce, a leading voice in the AFLW, said Indigenous rounds weren't just about celebrating Indigenous players and culture, but for people to educate themselves on Australia's history.

In an articulate monologue on Thursday, Pearce cited the Stolen Generations as she stressed the negative impact of colonialism, with the British monarch as its head, on Australia's First Nations people.

"It 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," Pearce told SEN's Whateley.

"... There was legislation in this country that remained for decades, in some states as recently as the 1970s.

"This isn't ancient barbaric history that happened way back when. This happened in our lifetimes - not yours and mine, but living peoples' lifetimes.

"The trauma and pain associated with that didn't end with the removal of that legislation, it endures now and it has a very real effect on people and families and identities right now."

Pearce stressed while many saw the Queen's reign in a positive light, for Indigenous people the monarch had left "a 70-year legacy as the figurehead of colonialism."

"What I'm hearing and reading and learning through what I get to learn in Indigenous Round as part of an AFL club and someone who concerns myself with this stuff is that for a lot of First Nations people, she represents pain and trauma and ongoing oppression that they don't want to celebrate," she said.

"So I assume that this decision to not observe a minute's silence was the result of listening to those Indigenous voices within headquarters and within our AFLW clubs and the communities that they were liaising with in preparation for Indigenous Round

"(Those voices) probably suggested it would be insensitive to honour and celebrate the head of state at a time when we as the AFL are outwardly denoting that we as a league are listening to and trying to understand and acknowledge their truth.

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