The Australian Football League has refused a request from deaf football fans, to show sign language during part of the AFL Grand Final. The request was made that Auslan (Australian sign language) could accompany the National Anthem, so that deaf viewers could participate more fully in the pre-game preamble. The AFL, however – who have, for many years, stood in rigid opposition to the deaf community – feel that such an inclusion, would be a step too far.
“It is not the responsibility of the AFL to pander to every community out there that doesn’t speak the same language that we do”, said one AFL representative “if it was, then we’d put up the sign language, and chuck in some Tasmanian subtitles for good measure!”
The AFL has promised to think about adding subtitles for the national anthem, on the contingency that those subtitles be written in Australian.
Incidentally – Some members of the hearing population found the time to help assure the deaf community, that: the national anthem isn’t really that good, anyway. This consolation has proven radically unhelpful, and seems to have missed the point.