On SEN this morning Patrick Dangerfield spoke with Gerard Healy about the AFLX. He spoke about the new “twist” on the coin toss, to determine which side the teams will kick to, now being paper-scissors-rock. He spoke about the vitriol on social media behind the AFLX. He said that if people don’t want to go or watch, then don’t. He then compared it to the NBA All-Star Weekend and how family friendly that this is. He obviously doesn’t know the facts behind the All-Star Weekend.
Players in the All-Star match do get paid for their appearance, but monies raised in merchandise, tickets, etc etc is put back into the community and goes to charity. The NBA then donate on behalf of the teams, to charity which is determined by the teams and different amounts are donated depending on whether the team wins or loses. They advocate during the weekend what the players are giving back to their communities and where the money is going.
All that the general public is seeing in the AFLX is the Players Association’s trying to revenue raise, for themselves. The public see this as nothing more than that and an attempt to copy a format that is USA-based with no other aspect other than lining the pockets of the players and the AFL. If the AFLX were to follow the format of the NBA and make all monies to go directly to charities and the community, I can guarantee that the general public will warm to it in the same way that the American public warm to the NBA All-Star Weekend.
We, the supporters will see that the AFL and the AFL Players Association are not just trying to bolster their well-filled coffers but are participating in this “event” as a means to give back to the community that they rely on. I know I would watch and probably go to the AFLX games if this was the case as I’m sure a lot would, for a good cause and not just to fill pockets of ones already full.