The AFL temporarily changed its logo at the front of its headquarters on Wednesday to read “Yes” in a show of support for marriage equality.
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said it was important for the organisation to have a strong stance on the issue.
“We are committed to equality and diversity and we support the rights of all Australians to live, work and play free from discrimination,” he said.
In an interview with Fox Footy, he added: “This is an issue that means a lot to many of our players and many of my employees and a lot of people in the community.
“People should get out and vote and have their view, but this something that actually talks to a core value of ours which is actual equality.”
Carlton AFL Women’s footballer Darcy Vescio was pleased to see the AFL so publicly back same-sex marriage.
“The AFL is such a huge organisation and people all around Australia love footy, so for them to put such a strong stance forward is awesome and I think it will mean a lot to a lot of people,” she told AFL.com.au.
“I think it fits really well with their brand and their overall stance on things, so the more people who feel included in this game, the better, and the more it will grow.”
The logo, on the front of AFL House in Melbourne, will be changed back on Thursday.
Cricket Australia, the NRL and the Australian Rugby Union are among the sporting codes to have recently thrown their support behind the “yes” campaign.
Two weeks ago, the NRL backed the “yes” campaign after openly gay former NRL player Ian Roberts passionately appealed to them to take a stand on the issue.
The AFL is committed to equality & diversity, & we support the rights of all Australians to live, work & play free from discrimination. pic.twitter.com/XUoAuEcwzJ
— AFL (@AFL) September 20, 2017
— AU Marriage Equality (@AMEquality) September 20, 2017