Australian Way of Life

IPA Poll: Australians Believe Politics Is Out Of Bounds On the Sporting Field

Written by
28 October 2022

“Sport is a defining component of the Australian way of life, where we all can play and cheer together, and the message from mainstream Australians is clear: play the ball and not the man,” said Daniel Wild, Deputy Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs.

A poll undertaken in October, by marketing research firm Dynata, asked 1,000 Australians to specifically agree or disagree with the statement: “Sporting codes like the AFL, NRL, cricket, and netball have become too politically correct”

  • 61% Agreed.
  • 39% Disagreed.

This result represents a dramatic increase in the proportion of Australians who believe sport has become too politically correct, from 51% on a similar question asked in 2019.

Australians were also asked to specifically agree or disagree with the statement: “It is wrong that professional athletes are using their positions to campaign for their own personal political causes.”

  • 62% Agreed.
  • 38% Disagreed.

Importantly, a majority of Australians across every age group and every state and territory agreed with these statements.

“Sport is a critical part of our social fabric, which for generations has brought our nation together, yet is now being used by a privileged elite as a weapon of political division and woke virtue signaling,” Mr Wild said.

Finally, Australians were asked to specifically agree or disagree with the statement: “Energy companies such as Woodside, sponsor of the Fremantle AFL team, and Alinta Energy, sponsor of the Australian Cricket Team, should be banned from sponsoring sporting teams.”

  • 69% Disagreed
  • 31% Agreed

“The results on the scoreboard could not be clearer, Australians want politics out of their sport plain and simple,” Mr Wild said.

“The recent actions of a number of professional sport stars are fundamentally at odds with the views and values of mainstream Australians.”

“Throughout our history sport has been one of Australia’s greatest unifying forces, inspiring millions to pursue excellence in all walks of life. We cannot afford our pastimes to become the plaything of activists,” Mr Wild said.

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Daniel Wild

Daniel Wild is the Deputy Executive Director at the Institute of Public Affairs

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