Richmond's two captains – Trent Cotchin and Katie Brennan. Picture: Alex Coppel.
Richmond's two captains – Trent Cotchin and Katie Brennan. Picture: Alex Coppel.

AFL open to renaming comp to AFLM

ONE of the more explosive arguments in footy has re-emerged after round one of the AFLW season, as the push resumes to rename the AFL's men's competition AFLM to fall in line with the women's league.

AFL footy boss Steven Hocking and AFLW chief Nicole Livingstone joined the ABC's Outer Sanctum podcast this week and were asked how long it would be until AFL headquarters committed to formally renaming the men's competition AFLM.

Podcast host Kate Seears has been pushing the case for the name change, writing last year the AFL had to be recast as AFLM.

"Until it does so, the AFL is positioning the men's competition as 'the default' or norm, and the women's as the negative. Even if unintentional, this devalues the women's game, and women," Seears wrote for Monash University's Lens.

She posed the question to the two officials and it was initially met with an awkward pause before Livingstone broke the silence.

"That's a very good question," she said. "Can we take it on notice and take it back to AFL House?"

AFLW CEO Nicole Livingstone. Picture: Daniel Pockett/AFL Photos via Getty Images
AFLW CEO Nicole Livingstone. Picture: Daniel Pockett/AFL Photos via Getty Images

But Hocking said he was "happy to answer that".

"There's a whole range of things that we're unpacking that have just been the way they have been because of 160 years of football and I think that's OK," he said.

"I don't think we need to necessarily be looking over the fence at one another and saying whether we need to add another initial to something, but if in time it's something that emerges, we're all ears at AFL."

 Livingstone added: "It's actually a really interesting thought process because when I am internal I do take the time to say AFL men's competition when I speak and I say AFLW because I know that the AFL is the NSO or the national sporting organisation.

"Maybe we just need to be thinking about - eventually down the track - is it just AFL? And there's a men's competition and a women's competition."

Steven Hocking, AFL general manager of football operations. Picture: Michael Willson/AFL Media
Steven Hocking, AFL general manager of football operations. Picture: Michael Willson/AFL Media

Any name change will be met with stiff opposition from some sections of footy fans and the media.

"Has any other league around the world done this?" AAP sport reporter Oliver Caffrey tweeted.

"The NBA is one of the more progressive competitions and it hasn't changed to the MNBA. Plenty of things the AFL gets bashed on, but this shouldn't be one of them."

Fox Sports AFL reporter Julian de Stoop has also previously pleaded: "Please don't call AFL AFLM."


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