A number of leading Australians have lent their support to a campaign to remove alcohol sponsorship from professional sport. The call comes a week out from the National Rugby League (NRL) and Australian Football League (AFL) grand finals, and as evidence mounts about the harm to children as a result of exposure to alcohol advertising.
World Vision Chief Advocate Tim Costello has lent his full support to the #BoozeFreeSport campaign, saying:
I think there should be absolutely zero sponsorship of alcohol in sport.
Former President of the St Kilda Football Club, Rod Butterss says that for too long booze, drugs and gambling have been a part of AFL culture, and that it’s high time league cut its ties with alcohol:
The kids they love their sport, they idolise their sporting heroes. And in the same breath the League is showing them that drinking and binge drinking is acceptable and healthy. It is not.
Former Healthway Chief Executive, David Malone was successful in reducing alcohol’s presence in the Western Australian sporting arena, and also believes that alcohol and sport don’t mix:
We don’t want alcohol promoted where young people are captive to that audience, because there is good evidence that the promotion of alcohol encourages young people to drink alcohol earlier and in more significant volume.
David Hill, author and former President of the North Sydney Bears was an outspoken critic of tobacco sponsorship in sport and says:
Sporting bodies have proved that faced with the choice between doing what is morally right, or taking the sack of money, they are most likely to take the sack of money.