Media release: Keep Good Friday sacred

Melbourne Bishop Philip Huggins urges the AFL not to schedule a Good Friday football game for 2017

July 28 2016The AFL tradition of respect for the sanctity of Good Friday has been deeply appreciated by people of faith, according to Melbourne Anglican Bishop Philip Huggins.

“As the AFL Commission meets tomorrow in Brisbane to consider scheduling a game on Good Friday 2017, we urge and implore them to reject the temptation to change just for commercial considerations,” Bishop Huggins said.

More than 2000 Melbourne Anglicans – many of them football fans – recently signed a petition, presented to the AFL earlier this month saying they would be greatly saddened by such a change and asking the sport to restate its respect for tradition and Good Friday.

“The Cross of Jesus has inspired compassionate and sacrificial lives and profound art. It has also comforted millions in times of trauma. Hence the wise 2000-year tradition of keeping the day quietly,” Bishop Huggins said.

“It is as plain as day that there is no need for more football games over the Easter weekend. Of course marketers and media are again spruiking a new opportunity, but they would be kicking against the wind to claim this as necessary, when there are games already on Maundy Thursday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday and Monday.”