THE new AFL season may still be a few months away but that hasn’t prevented the Greater Western Sydney Giants from winning over a whole new set of fans after it became the first AFL club to give its public support to marriage equality.
The Giants used their social media feeds on Facebook and Twitter earlier this month to give the ACT’s same-sex marriage laws – which were overuled by the High Court last week – its backing a day before same-sex couples were allowed to legally wed for the first time in Australia.
“A GIANT congratulations to everyone getting married in Canberra this weekend, may you all have a memorable day #CBR,” the club tweeted on December 6.
Giants co-captain Phil Davis was another to also share his support on social media.
The tweet was re-tweeted over 70 times and favourited by almost 50 Twitter users. A similar post on Facebook attracted over 270 likes, 11 shares and more than 70 comments, with the vast majority of them positive.
“Couldn’t be prouder to see GWS Giants support marriage equality, and standing up against homophobia,” Megan Borg wrote on Facebook.
Tully Svoboda wrote: “I’m a Sydney Swans supporter first but on this you’ve put yourself ahead, well done on being so progressive and good luck for 2014.”
Mark O’Sullivan agreed: “This is fantastic from a club that understands its fans,” he wrote.
“Any ‘fan’ who disagrees with this is not a true supporter of the club and needs to be exposed for their ridiculous homophobia.”
The Star Observer understands the short message quickly became the most popular social media post the Giants have posted since entering the AFL competition in 2012.
Social media users were not the only ones to congratulate the Giants. The fledgling club, which has a contract to play four games per season in the ACT as well as at its western Sydney base, also received praise for its stance from ACT Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr.
“I congratulate the AFL, the Giants and the AFL Players’ Association on their strong stand against homophobia in football,” said Barr, who is also sports minister.
The Star Observer has been informed the Giants are considering further diversity and inclusion initiatives.
INFO: To become a 2014 GWS Giants member, visit www.gwsgiants.com.au/membership