AFLW 2022: West Coast midfielder Maddy Collier backs Eagles’ call to not design guersney for Pride Round
West Coast midfielder Maddy Collier has defended the club’s decision to not wear a specially-designed guernsey acknowledging the LGBTQIA+ community for this weekend’s Pride Round.
The Eagles have come under fire this week after The West Australian revealed they were the only club of the 14 in the AFLW to not be wearing a pride guernsey.
It comes as the club focuses on the release of its first women’s only Indigenous playing outfit later this season, with a pride jumper to be released in 2023 despite several players identifying as LGBTQIA+.
Players wore a rainbow singlet at training on Tuesday as part of their celebration of the round, while also changing the club’s profile picture to an LGBTQIA+ inclusive rainbow logo, both of which caused backlash from fans.
Collier reiterated the club’s position when questioned about her opinion on the glaring omission.
“We’re not looking to rush the process,” Collier told SportFM.
“We’ve introduced an Indigenous guernsey this season which is really exciting.
“We want the induction of the playing guernsey to be important to the club’s history when you look back. There’s no rush to that.
“And we want to do it properly and respectfully, so we’ll be taking the time to do that.
“We’ll be looking forward to getting one next year.”
Eagles ruck Parris Laurie was the first player to comment on the issue, writing on her Instagram: “I support this round, the LGBTQ community and my family/friends. Would’ve loved to have had a pride guernsey this year. I look forward to a West Coast Eagles pride guernsey next season.”
West Coast general manager of community and game development Richard O’Connell said no player had given any negative feedback about the decision.
“They understand the process we’re following and they’re comfortable with the plan we’ve put in place,” he said.
The Eagles will take on Adelaide at the Swinburne Centre on Saturday, with the Crows releasing their pride guernsey this week.
Forward Stevie-Lee Thompson said it was amazing to showcase Pride Round in the AFLW.
“It’s an honour to even put on a guernsey that can represent the broader community and actually show we support a huge cause,” she said.
“Especially myself, having a partner who is female. Being able to showcase that on TV and show that there are people around that can actually support us is amazing.”
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