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AFL Turns Rainbow For First Pride Match

Yay for the Gay-FL!

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On Sunday afternoon, the Australian Football League held their first ever pride match to celebrate LGBTI diversity.

Swans v Freo today is the first AFL #PrideMatch! We’ve partnered with @NAB to help prevent homophobia #NABChallenge

Played as part of the pre-season NAB Challenge, the match saw the Sydney Swans go up against the Fremantle Dockers.

Held at Sydney's Drummoyne Stadium, the game began with a guard of honour formed by Australian Rules players wearing rainbow singlets from the recent Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade.

Harry Cunningham's goal gives the Swans a 9-1 lead in the first. We had a special #PrideMatch guard of honour earlier

Rainbows were in no short supply, with boundary lines, goal post padding and goal umpire flags all sporting the colours of the pride flag.

The #NABChallenge #PrideMatch is underway at #DrummoyneOval. Great atmosphere! #PlayingWithPride

The AFL has previously held matches to celebrate racial diversity and Indigenous players, but this is the first time a match has been dedicated to eradicating homophobia.

On air on @JOY949 at 3:20pm to give a briefing about #pridematch very excited!

Sunday's game comes after a local pride match was played in the Yarra last year. The Yarra match was organised by out gay amateur footballer Jason Ball, who started a campaign in 2012 asking the AFL to do more to support gay players.

The Cup has arrived. Rainbow ribbons and all! #pridematch @JOY949

There are currently no out gay players in the AFL. However, football operations manager Mark Evans told diversity was "essential" to the game. "We say ‘no matter who are, where you are from or who you love, we can all love footy’,” he said.

A rainbow 50-m boundary line for today's #NABChallenge #PrideMatch at Drummoyne Oval in Syd @JOY949