Footy fans lash ‘political’ pre-game entertainment at AFL Grand Final after Indigenous performer wears ‘Vote Yes’ shirt while singing Aussie classic
Furious No voters to the Voice referendum have lashed the AFL’s pre-game entertainment after one of its performers promoted the Yes vote in their performance.
The AFL Commission had previously ruled out promoting the Yes campaign for the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum.
While US rockers KISS were the stars of the pre-game entertainment, electrifying the MCG with an electric set that defied their age, it was one of the lead-in acts to anger football fans.
KISS are on their latest world tour and delivered an electric performance at the AFL Grand Final which was cheered on by footy fans
A new generation joined the KISS Army in a spectacle that almost surpassed Robbie Williams’ performance from last year.
Two Australian Indigenous artists still used their platform to promote the ‘Yes’ vote, angering many football fans.
The pre-match entertainment kicked off with William Barton, Australia’s leading didgeridoo player, along with Melbourne-based Indigenous singer-songwriter Jess Hitchcock, performing a rendition of Waltzing Matilda.
“To perform a unique rendition of the original bush ballad ‘Waltzing Matilda’, I welcome ARIA award winner William Barton, along with Jessica Hitchcock,” the commentator said welcoming them.
Barton began the rendition with his signature didgeridoo playing, saying, “It’s about passing on the culture from generation to generation around the campfire. We watch, listen and learn and share the motherland together.’
As the crowd at the MCG gave a warm round of applause for their performance, several fans took to social media to express their disapproval of Hitchcock wearing a ‘Vote Yes’ shirt in support of the Voice to Parliament referendum.
‘Why do you have to make the AFL political! Get the vote yes shirt off. This is a sport, not a parliament building! AFL needs to stop being so woke,” one fan wrote.
“Terrible rendition of a classic,” another added.
‘Why did the AFL allow politics into the ceremony by putting Yes logos on singers? If you allow yes, you must also allow #VoteNo,” another posted.
While some fans disapproved of the performances, others were quick to praise them.
Jess Hitchcock and Mike Brady speak to fans at an AFL Grand Final media opportunity at the MCG on Thursday
Mike Brady performs his classic Up There Cazaly during the 2023 AFL Grand Final Parade on Friday
“Jess Hitchcock was bloody brilliant in G, great rendition of a great song,” he posted.
“Shout out to Jess Hitchcock for the Yes dress,” another added.
The fans were much more welcoming to Mike Brady, who then performed his iconic footy classic Up There Cazaly, which also included a moving reference to Ron Barassi who passed away on September 16.
‘Back to normality. A great rendition of Up There, Cazaly,” said one fan.
‘The AFL is definitely going to use a hologram of Mike Grady after he dies’
The headline act was KISS, with the aging rockers giving a captivating performance of their classics including Rock And Roll All Nite and Shout It Out Loud.
‘Brilliant. Robbie Williams last year and KISS this year. The AFL has set a precedent that they cannot and should not break away from,” said one fan.
“It just shows you’re as old as you want to be,” another added.
“A lot of credit goes to Gil McLachlan and Matt Gudinski, who not only got KISS to perform at the #AFLGF, but also put together a showcase that looked unreal on TV, and I’m sure in person on the ground too was the same. said another.