AFLW gives middle finger to haters

The division of professional footy that no one seemed to believe in has just come forth and given the big middle finger to the non-believers, showing them first hand how popular it truely is.

Filling the new Optus Stadium in Perth with nearly 42,000 spectators, this historic moment not only broke records with its attendance, but also marked an amazing motive to break the glass ceiling which keeps women's sport at bay.

"You've just got to roll with the punches and do what you got to do," Adelaide AFLW co-captain Erin Phillips.

Now, before you 'come at me' in the comments, I'm not preaching to give AFLW and AFL the exact same budget, attention or even screen-time (because frankly, AFL has grown into an incredible international league over the decades and has forged a deep history and following, while AFLW has only just begun and needs time to grow) but I do believe we should be taking this division of our great game seriously and giving it every opportunity to grow.

Who cares that they're women playing. They've dedicated a lot of time, energy and passion to building their skills and fitness to get to the standard we're seeing and to dismiss that because they're women is bloody dumb.

I can't help but remember the first time the news of AFLW hit the papers, forums and comment sections. The reviews of the first few matches were shocking - not sexist, just a group of un-supporting mixed up reports filled with fear of change. Words such as "This is the end of AFL" and "Who the hell asked for ALFW anyways, not me". Amongst the stupidity were also sexist remarks such as "Women shouldn't play professional sport, it's embarrassing" and "Women aren't physically strong enough to play footy at a professional level".

While you might dismiss these comments as the crafts of online trolls, more times than none, these comments or similar seemed to be coming from the mainstream media. But, in a brilliant move, this weekend Aussies have all come together and set fire to the assumptions, sexist remarks and gender limitations of sport.

42,000 people asked for it and enjoyed every moment of footy on show. They watched as the Pies and Dockers clashed in a brilliant game of A-grade footy. The game also raised over $80,000 for charity.

Undeniable proof as to the future of our sport becoming more diverse and supported than ever.

More variety and opportunities in footy will forever make our sport great, and if you are still hating on women, or diluted by the "oh it's just PC culture" myth of its establishment, then go bugga off.

Featured Photo: By Tigerman2612 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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