The Resource Political Football
- Political Football
- Politics and sport, radical minorities and conservative majority, police and protestors, violence and civil disobedience, public policy and rebellion, Australian heroes and rugby vigilantes - Political Football is an enthralling documentary on an unprecedented time in Australian history. Coupling dramatic archival footage and candid contemporary interviews Political Football examines the fascinating story of seven Australian Rugby Union players who refused to play for their country against a South African team that was selected on the basis of race. Declared a "disgrace to their country" it was the first time Australian sports men had refused to represent their country on political grounds. The actions in 1971 of Barry McDonald, Jim Roxburgh, Bruce Taafe, Terry Forman, Anthony Abrahams, Paul Darveniza and Jim Boyce became a watershed in Australian sporting and political life and the ramifications are still felt today. Six of the seven players represented Australia in the 1969 Wallaby tour of South Africa where they experienced the reality of apartheid and the integral connection in South Africa between sport and politics. On the eve of the 1971 tour of Australia by the Springboks, the footballers took a stand and opposed the tour. Their stand gave respectability to the otherwise radical campaign against the Springbok tour. But the footballers' stand was supported by less than 15% of the Australian population at the time, and for all but one player, they would never again be selected to represent their country. While the tour proceeded, it did so with a level of civil uprising and violence rarely seen in Australia. The games became battlefields between anti-apartheid protesters, police, rugby vigilantes, Neo-Nazis, the church, families. As well as examining the political consequences of the tour Political Football also looks at the personal cost on a group of footballers that swam against the current and sacrificed their personal ambitions for the sake of a principle. © Hilton Cordell and Associates Pty. Ltd/Film Finance Corporation of Australia
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- Originally produced by ABC in 2005
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