AFL Coin Toss To Send Strong Message To A Political Tosser

A "simple but symbolic gesture" of solidarity.

This week in Canberra saw nearly the entire parliament revolt against Fraser Anning's vile Nazi-reminiscent "final solution" speech targeting Muslims. Tonight in Melbourne will see tens of thousands witness a powerful on-field message of unity from some of the AFL's most prominent Muslim players.

Essendon and Richmond will get the penultimate round of the AFL home and away season underway at the MCG in what is set to be a fierce clash between traditional crosstown rivals. But the two teams will come together before the match to stand up against Anning and his brand of backward thinking.

Adam Saad and Bachar Houli (AAP)

"The Bombers and the Tigers are proud to celebrate diversity in football and the broader Australian community and wish to emphasise this on the big stage in light of recent comments made in Federal Parliament," a statement on Essendon's website said.

"Dashing defender Adam Saad and Tiger Bachar Houli, both practicing Muslims, will join the teams’ captains in the centre of the ground to toss the coin in a simple but symbolic gesture."

Richmond called it an "important moment of solidarity" led by Saad and Houli, "two talented football players, practicing Muslims, and wonderful representatives of their community".

"Both Richmond and Essendon celebrate and embrace diversity in our great game, through our players, staff, partners, members and supporters, and by extension, we celebrate the diversity of our country," the Tigers said.

"Both clubs will take the opportunity presented by the AFL’s Friday night centre stage to stand alongside these young men and their community, and remind everyone that our great game and our country values people of all cultures and communities."

It continues a long trend of the AFL supporting important community causes.

The league was one of the most prominent sporting supporters of the marriage equality postal survey, altering the logo outside its headquarters to read YES.

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan pledged his code's support for the reform as early as 2014.

"The AFL will keep saying no matter how many times it takes, that our game does not tolerate discrimination in any form, be that sexual identity, gender, race (or) religious views... we also support the position of marriage equality for all people," he wrote in his own letter in response to a letter from a mother of a gay son.

Sydney play St Kilda at the Sydney Cricket Ground in July 2017. (AAP Image/David Moir)

The AFL also holds an Indigenous Round as well as an annual 'Pride Game' between Sydney and St Kilda, where playing gear, line markings and stadium signage is daubed in rainbow colours to promote diversity and inclusion.

The theme of the 2017 game was 'Everyone Is Welcome'.