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Second Pride Game spreading the message further

Stories of Pride: David Cannizzo Southern Football Netball League CEO David Cannizzo tell us his story of pride leading into our Round 18 Pride Game. (Thursday 20 July, 2017)
We’re not just tolerating inclusion, we’re not just calling out homophobia, we’re celebrating diversity and what that actually means for the strength of our game.
Matt Finnis

A year after St Kilda launched the inaugural AFL Pride Game, Saints CEO Matt Finnis says the purpose of the annual fixture is still to make everyone feel welcome at the football and to celebrate diversity in our game.

While the Saints won’t host this year’s edition, Alan Richardson’s men will travel to Sydney to face the Swans in the second Pride Game at the SCG on Saturday night.

“I think we’re celebrating diversity, we’re not just tolerating inclusion, we’re not just calling out homophobia, we’re celebrating diversity and what that actually means for the strength of our game,” Finnis said at the Melbourne launch on Wednesday afternoon.

“We are just so thrilled by the success that we had and to take the game to Sydney this year and see what a Pride Game looks like in Sydney.”

In the aftermath of last year’s Pride Game, Finnis believes St Kilda learned how valuable sharing stories was in spreading the message of inclusivity.

Champion St Kilda wingman Nicky Winmar shared his story about his son, as did three-time premiership Hawk Russell Greene and pioneering LGBTIQ advocate Jason Ball.

“Last year we learned the power of storytelling,” Finnis said.

“I think last year when we were staging the first game there were a few naysayers, people saying why do we need a pride game?

“I think the power of some of the stories that we had last year built a real connection with the football community as to why it’s really to ensure that everyone is welcome at the football.

“By Nicky Winmar and Tynan Winmar sharing their story, people could relate to that.”