Watching the AFL Grand Final on Saturday was awesome. I love everything about the game and I can’t wait to get back on the field and kick the footy around. But today, I learned that there are kids younger than me working to hand stitch Australian footballs.
Kids, some as young as 13, are being paid as little as $1.20 a day to make hundreds of balls for Summit football company - and Summit Sport won’t admit where its factories are, or commit to doing anything to fix this.
I love playing footy -- it’s a noble game: what happens on the ground stays on the ground and everyone's mates after. But I can’t stand the idea of playing with a ball that’s been made by a kid in a slum, in child slave labour conditions - that’s just wrong.
I’ve looked on their website, and the AFL, the NRL and the A-League, ALL have deals with Summit. If Summit won’t say where their factories are, then they must be hiding something.
These leagues, and the heroes that play in them are what inspire us to play footy. I’m asking our AFL, NRL and A-League codes: end their deals with Summit until they stop using child slave labour to make their balls and reveal where their factories are.
It just doesn’t sit well with me, and our game, if kids are making our footballs.