There were three seconds of deafening silence when AFLW boss Nicole Livingstone was asked if and when the men’s league would be renamed AFLM.
- A hypothetical name change for the men’s league was posed to Nicole Livingstone and AFL football operations boss Steve Hocking on a podcast
- Livingstone eventually said she would take it to AFL House, which has now moved to assure fans there will be no change
- The AFLW boss said it was important for stakeholders in the league to keep agitating, rather than stand pat
It may not sound like much, but those three seconds on the Outer Sanctum podcast over the weekend seemed to last an age.
“That’s a very good question. Can we take it on notice and take it back to AFL House?” Livingstone eventually said.
A few days after the end of the opening round of the AFLW, the AFL has now responded, saying the name will stay the same.
“We had a great first round to season four of the AFL Women’s competition,” the AFL House account tweeted.
“AFLW has built its own powerful identity in the community and we will continue to promote its message and celebrate the league and women’s football.
“There are no plans to change the name of the AFL competition.”
The man in charge of football operations at the AFL, Steve Hocking, was on that podcast with Livingstone and said sometimes caring about tradition was OK.
“There’s a whole range of things that we’re unpacking that have just been the way they’ve been because of 160 years of football. And that’s OK,” Hocking said.
“I don’t think we need to necessarily be looking over the fence at one another and saying whether we need to add another initial to something.
“But if, in time, that’s something that emerges, we’re all ears at the AFL.”
Livingstone said in internal conversations she makes sure to refer to the “men’s competition” and the “AFLW”, with the AFL as the overarching body, but anything resembling a name change would be years down the track, if ever.
She also made sure to stress the importance of players, administrators and fans of AFLW not just being happy with what they have got.
“For decades, women and men have been pushing to have an elite competition for Australian football [for women]. Now it’s here, I think it’s unreasonable to think after all of that agitation and hopes and dreams that we’re just going to sit down and be quiet, [that] we don’t have to push anymore,” she said.
“I think it’s everybody’s responsibility to continue to push and want for more, so we have to get comfortable with that. It’s going to be lumpy, it’s going to be bumpy, but it’s OK.”
original source: Abc