THE Sydney Swans beat the St Kilda Saints during yesterday’s AFL Pride Game at the Sydney Cricket Ground, 101 – 59, as fans waved rainbow flags from the stands to champion LGBTI inclusivity and acceptance in sport.

The event marked the second annual Pride Game for premiership points, and was established as a way to combat the homophobia and transphobia that still permeates the game, on and off the field.

The 50 metre line was painted in colours of the rainbow and players from both teams donned rainbow gear for the game.

Australian Marriage Equality headed along to the game to gather messages of LGBTI support from fans at the game, posting images of the best of the bunch.

“Love is love” and “it just makes sense” were among some of the messages scrawled down by excited fans.

In an interview with Channel 7 from the stands during the game, Mav Newman, brother of Swans’ player Nic Newman, highlighted the impact the Pride Game will have on LGBTI people.

“I guess it can annoy some people that might be a bit ignorant and just want to watch the footy, but there is some kid out there that is queer or gender diverse that might be afraid to come out or be who they really are – this Pride Game tells them it’s perfectly okay to be who you are,” he said.

Other fans also took to social media to express what the day and game meant to them.

“A friend of mine never felt safe to go to the footy,” one tweeter wrote.

“He is going to the Pride Game. This means more than people know.”

“If acceptance was like a football match I’d say we’re on the winning team,” another person tweeted.

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