More than 20 of Australia’s leading sports organisations have banded together in Sydney and Melbourne to throw their support behind a Voice to Parliament.
Players and executives joined together to urge Australians to vote Yes in the upcoming referendum, asking sports fans to listen with an “open heart”.
“We the representatives come together to make this statement to all Australians who love their sport,” a group statement said.
“Sport plays a significant role in reconciling Australia.
“We as a collective support recognition through a Voice.
“We should do that by ensuring Indigenous Australians have a meaningful say in their own future.”
The organisations included the AFL, Cricket Australia, the NRL, Netball Australia, Football Australia, Motorsport Australia and the NBL.
Sporting stars from Eddie Betts to Mal Meninga were on hand to share their thoughts during the event.
Several clubs across many of the major leagues have been issuing statements on their own behalf across the past month supporting a Yes vote, with the AFL’s Crows, Suns, Saints and Kangaroos all issuing press releases today.
“Dear Sports Fans of Australia,
We, the representatives of leading sport organisations in Australia, come together to make this statement to all Australians who love their sport:
Sport has always served as a unifying force for our diverse Australian society.
Regardless of where we come from or what we believe in, sport brings people together in the spirit of achievement, community and celebration.
Moreover, sport plays a significant role in reconciling Australia.
It has long been a means for the inclusion and celebration of the incredible achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
This year, all Australians will have their say in a referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.
We, as a collective, support recognition through a Voice.
We believe our nation can achieve this profound recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first peoples of our country, in our Constitution.
And that we should do that by ensuring Indigenous Australians have a meaningful say in shaping their own future.
We commit to using our platforms to lead conversations that promote respect, trust and goodwill between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
We commit to improving education and understanding among the Australians who play, administer and watch our sports.
We encourage all Australians who love sport to listen with an open heart and an open mind through this historic moment.
We respect that everyone is entitled to reach their own decision come the referendum.
Together we share a vision for the future as a nation that values equity, fairness and the rights of the Traditional Custodians of our land.
The land on which we play, love and celebrate sport in Australia.”