AFL 2022: League offer no comment after backlash over AFLW minute’s silence for Queen death

The AFL women’s competition opted not to honour the Queen with a minute’s silence before its matches this weekend despite angry backlash to the move.

Her Majesty’s passing was acknowledged before the men’s semi-finals on Friday and Saturday nights but the AFLW backflipped on a plan to follow suit because it is celebrating Indigenous Round.

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The women’s league did observe a minute’s silence before its opening game of the round, a Friday night clash between the Western Bulldogs and Fremantle.

Before it ultimately pulled the pin on honouring the Queen, a move that left many questioning why.

The AFL however refused to comment on its decision to backflip on the minute’s silence when contacted on Monday by the Herald Sun.

Bulldogs director Belinda Duarte said the minute’s silence “imposed a reflection on the impact of (The Queen’s) life and reign” and “unearthed deep wounds”.

“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,” the Wotjobaluk and Dja Dja Wurrung woman said.

But many – including Indigenous elder Ian Hunter – thought the decision was wrong.

“It is totally disrespectful to our country who is a part of the British colony, disrespectful, that’s what I’d say,” Hunter told the Herald Sun.

Herald Sun columnist Rita Panahi described the move as “absolutely pathetic” while Derryn Hinch said it was “an insult to their sport”.

The men’s competition paid tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II with a beautiful gesture moments before the semi final at the MCG.

After players from both the Lions and Demons lined up for the Welcome to Country, a minute’s silence was observed for the late monarch who sadly passed at the age of 96.

The announcer at the ground asked patrons to remain upstanding “to remember her majesty, Queen Elizabeth the second”.

“May she rest in peace,” the announcer said.

Flags were flown at half mast for the match while the MCG was flooded in purple light – the colour of royalty.

Flowers were also placed in between the two teams.

A beautiful photo tribute was visible on the big screen before an instrumental version of God Save the Queen rang out at the MCG.

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