The AFL has come under fire over a highly questionable song selection that many fans called “highly inappropriate” to open Sunday night’s Brownlow medal ceremony.
Australian singer James Reyne, who rose to fame as the frontman of cult rock band Australian Crawl, opened the count with the group’s hit “The Boys Light Up,” which is loaded with graphic references to sex and drugs.
Fans were quick to slam the AFL for the bizarre and inappropriate choice to lead the night of Footy’s Nights, which aired on Channel Seven at a kid-friendly time.
Even the broadcaster’s football expert, Andy Maher, slammed the league because of the route choice.
“Interesting opening tune for an AFL feature like this. You know it’s not about playing football at night, right?’ Maher wrote on Twitter in a thought echoed by Australian netball great Bianca Chatfield, who tweeted, “I was just thinking the same thing.”
“The Boys Light Up” is not a song with metaphors or hidden meanings; It’s very obvious and graphic a song about sex, dildos, prostitutes and wild parties with drugs.
“Quietly she opens the drawer, mother’s little helper comes out to get more. Strategically positioned before the midday show, her back is arched, those lips are parched,” the lyrics read in the second stanza, alluding to a woman using a sex toy.
Other graphic references include: “hopes are down on pants” and “later at the party, all the MPs are raving about the lobsters she gave”.
Unbelieving footy fans like Maher couldn’t believe what they were hearing.
One asked, “Didn’t anyone in the AFL listen to the lyrics first?” while one criticized the “appalling choice of songs… totally inappropriate.”
“Great song, maybe not right for the time slot,” said another fan on Twitter.
Sports pundit Ralph Horowitz also pointed out the hypocrisy of the situation, writing, “40 minute virtue signal, then here’s James Reyne… did any of the 8,000 people at headquarters check the lyrics?”
Before the medal, the AFL insisted red carpet presenters Emma Freedman and Dale Thomas weren’t allowed to ask women on the red carpet what they were wearing, which most thought was crazy.
All of this made the decision to record such an inappropriate song seem even stranger.
One fan found hilarity in the hypocrisy as he slammed the AFL and their “wake up agenda” after the red carpet debacle.
“The AFL and their waking agenda just opened up the Brownlow with The Boys Light Up – either the ultimate p**s take or someone gets their a** handed to them tomorrow. Awesome!’ they wrote on Twitter.
A similar situation arose during this year’s State of Origin series when Australian rock band Grinspoon performed their hit song “Hard Act to Follow,” which includes the words “Kills, Thrills and Sunday Pills” in the chorus.
The choice of this route may have been dictated by the fact that the game was being played on a Sunday – but that didn’t make it any more appropriate.