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Why Collingwood, Richmond players ‘took a knee’: Callers divided

There has been a mixed reaction to the AFL players adopting the American custom of ‘taking a knee’ before Thursday night’s season reboot.

Collingwood and Richmond players knelt on one knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Callers to Neil Mitchell were largely not supportive of the timing of the gesture, many questioning whether it was clear what it was supporting and endorsing, and concerned it could be construed as support for the CBD protests that infuriated health officials and frontline workers.

Others found it contradictory given the AFL’s push into China, a nation with a poor human rights issue.

Click PLAY to hear the caller reaction

Former AFL diversity manager Jason Mifsud told Neil Mitchell the gesture was largely a message from AFL player “to their peers”.

“It’s a complex issue but, more than anything, it’s a show of solidarity,” he said.

Mr Mifsud dismissed criticism of the use of an American gesture, claiming it’s become an “international symbol” and that it would “create confusion” if the players did a different gesture.

Click PLAY to hear from Jason Mifsud

(Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)