Collingwood Support the Voice: With Their Record, It’s Doomed to Fail

3 April 2023

3.4 MINS

It’s either shameless virtue signalling, or it is an attempt to influence the way supporters vote — so which is it?

The Collingwood Football Club claims it is neither. They also claim their supporters have teeth, and no criminal convictions. But I digress.

Australia’s biggest football club yesterday announced its support for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament.

Australians will vote at a compulsory referendum later this year to change the constitution in order to create a special body, open only to people of Aboriginal descent, which will have power to influence public policy.

Collingwood released a statement saying they had surveyed “First Nations experts” (who can’t have been too expert since ‘First Nations’ is a term for people in Canada) to advise them on the merits of the Voice.

The club’s board, appointed to win football games, concluded that the Australian constitution should in fact be changed, and so they will be supporting a ‘Yes’ vote in the referendum.

If only winning grand finals was so easy.

Question: What do referendums and Collingwood have in common?

Answer: They both lose.

Collingwood has famously competed in 44 grand finals, winning only 15. Australia has conducted 44 referendums, passing only 8.

The football club advised its supporters this week …

The Club has made clear to all its athletes, staff, members and supporters that everyone has an individual democratic right to vote however they wish.”

“The club wants to be clear, we are not instructing anyone on how to vote but rather state that as a Board, we believe supporting a First Nations Voice to Parliament is the right thing to do.”

Got it?

We believe it is the right thing to let you know that voting “Yes” to the Voice is the right thing.

But you have a right to do the wrong thing.

And we are not instructing you not to do the wrong thing, if indeed the wrong thing is what you want to do.

As is your right.

Even though it wouldn’t be right.

Give me a break. If you’re not trying to influence anyone’s vote, why take any position on it at all?

And why take a position on a matter over which the finest constitutional lawyers in our land disagree?

Well, maybe this will explain.

A few years ago the Collingwood board commissioned Indigenous activists to investigate whether or not their AFL club was racist.

What could go wrong, right?

The resulting 35-page report on racism, written by academics with a history of race activism, found evidence of “systemic” and “egregious” racism.

Who would have thought?

I’m not sure how a list of six racist incidents over 50 years, detailed in the report, amounted to systemic anything.

Unacceptable? Definitely. Regrettable? Of course.

Evidence that Collingwood was the AFL equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan? Hardly.

But let’s be honest, it’s difficult to imagine any organisation that would not be called racist in the current environment where Critical Race Theory insists that no white man can do any good, no matter how hard he tries.

The report, entitled Do Better (REMEMBER THAT NAME) began by asserting that …

“If racism is endemic through the broader community, it is not surprising to find it within institutions such as sporting clubs”.

So there you have it. Investigators, seeing racism everywhere, were invited to run their eye over Collingwood and saw racism everywhere.

That the authors felt the need to begin their report by acknowledging the “elders and their ancestors” upon whose land the report was typed was an early clue that the Club’s attempt to get some honest feedback was always going to be hijacked by a politically driven agenda.

I’m not sure about systemic racism, but there was certainly naivety at the board level.

And Collingwood president Eddie McGuire, calling the release of the report “a proud day” for Collingwood, deserves a special award of his own.

He became the subject of a massive social media campaign calling for, and eventually getting, his resignation.

Even a one-eyed — one toothed — supporter saw that one coming.

So Australia’s most famous sporting club got stuck with recommendations that had nothing to do with its core business but that they could not reject.

Those recommendations included ensuring that players and coaches were recruited, not simply for their footballing ability, but for their ethnicity — “particularly First Nations and people of colour”.

And the club had to agree to “undertake an audit to ensure its membership, through their behaviour and beliefs, reflect its goals of diversity”.

Fast forward a couple of years to yesterday. The Collingwood bosses announced…

“… the board’s support for a First Nations Voice to Parliament is a natural progression of its commitment to doing and being better”.

Remember that name? “Do Better”? The report that recommended the club make anti-racism and inclusion inherent in the club’s values, alongside winning premierships?

Well, here’s the result.

The Collingwood board were shamed into promising they would do everything they could to influence the behaviour and beliefs of their fan base in accordance with the behaviour and beliefs of activists.

Taking a position on the Voice is part of their penance.


I don’t watch Collingwood games for constitutional tips, or for sermons on racial harmony.

I just want to see Nick Daicos kick goals. But not against North Melbourne.


Originally published at The James Macpherson Report. Photo by Wikimedia Commons.

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One Comment

  1. Kaylene Emery 3 April 2023 at 10:33 am - Reply

    Australian football was once a place where men ( with a penis) showed us all an aspect of why and how being a man could be such a bonus to our society. From memory I saw prowess stamina, sportsmanship, mateship – best I stop there because it’s a long list. And yes of course there was always the downside because men are not, never have been and never will be perfect.
    Years ago when the men in my life were ready to run onto the field I found that something was very wrong and where ever I went for help I met the Collingwood board profiteers types. They eat their own .
    Now through the grace of God I can recognise the demonic spirit that has infiltrated all areas of our society and I believe that God wants His people to call it out. I am His so I state my case and am grateful to you James…..for all that you do.

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