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Planet of the Australians: Indigenous athletes and Australian Football's sports diplomacy

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Simon Philpott



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


This article examines the Australian Football League’s (AFL) diplomatic efforts to bring about recognition and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous players, and to make a broader contribution to inter-communal relations. The AFL’s primary diplomacy has focused on classical racism, dealing with instances of on-field abuse of players by other players and with spectator education about racism and Indigenous culture in Australia. Despite successes in these areas, the AFL has notably failed to acknowledge structural, institutionalised modes of discrimination and exclusion, with the result that the sport remains deeply influenced by colonial thought and discourse concerning Indigenous Australians.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Philpott S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Third World Quarterly

Year: 2017

Volume: 38

Issue: 4

Pages: 862-881

Online publication date: 17/05/2016

Acceptance date: 07/04/2016

Date deposited: 03/06/2016

ISSN (print): 0143-6597

ISSN (electronic): 1360-2241

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/01436597.2016.1176857


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