Geelong Cats captain Patrick Dangerfield backs yes vote and right for AFL to run in Parliament via Voice

In the annual AFL Fans Association player survey, published in Age This month, some fans criticized what they described as a “bright agenda”, although most supporters supported Pride rounds and the league’s work to combat racism in football.

League representatives visited clubs, gave presentations to players and staff on the complex issues surrounding voice and answered questions. They have stressed on the forums that their role is to provide information rather than directing people to vote a certain way.

AFL manager Tanya Hosch has spoken to clubs about Parliament's vote.

AFL manager Tanya Hosch has spoken to clubs about Parliament’s vote.Credit:AFL photos

The proposed voice would act as an advisory body for parliamentarians, allowing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to offer advice on laws and policies affecting them.

The AFL claims to be aware of the potential pressure players may feel when taking a league-wide position on such issues, which is why it takes time to consult before making a recommendation to the AFL Commission.

“The AFL is undergoing a consultation process with stakeholders from across the industry regarding the Voice to Parliament referendum in 2023. Once that process is complete, the AFL Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Advisory Council will make a recommendation to the AFL Commission ‘ said a spokesman.

The AFL declared its support for voting yes ahead of the 2017 referendum on same-sex marriage, changing the sign outside AFL headquarters to “YES.”

Dangerfield is one of the sport’s most respected figures and has replaced Joel Selwood as Geelong skipper after helping the club exceed expectations and win the Premiership last year.

The Cats kick off their Premiership defense against Collingwood on Friday night at the MCG.

The 32-year-old has silenced all questions about his finals record with two brilliant performances in last year’s preliminary round and grand final as the Cats won their first flag since 2011.


Dangerfield played 18 games in 2022 but didn’t play more than five straight games throughout the season, allowing them to advance to the Finals with fresh legs for the first time in several seasons.

Dangerfield said he’s ready to take a similar approach in 2023, although no plans are set in stone.

“I will prepare for every game. [But] The ideal scenario is for the coaches to make the call [that] ‘Nah, we think it’s time to rest this week’ or ‘we’re retiring you this week’ rather than ever trying to schedule breaks,” Dangerfield said.

He admitted he still wanted to play every week but later in his career had developed a greater appreciation for the value of rest, with Geelong’s added depth last season helping them perform when he was away.

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Ryan Sederquist

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