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Kick fossil fuels out of sports

From Australian Cricket Captain Pat Cummins, to high profile Fremantle Dockers supporters, to former Wallabies Captain David Pocock, the message from a growing chorus of players and fans is clear: fossil fuel sponsorship in sports must stop.1,2,3

They're up against multinational corporations who have long staked a claim in the sporting world. Like the tobacco industry in the past and the gambling industry today, coal, oil, and gas corporations plaster their logos across sports grounds in an attempt to cover up the harm they cause to our health, and to communities on the frontlines of climate damage.

But we can't be bought. We know these same fossil fuel corporations destroy Country, have no consent from Traditional Owners, and many have a racist legacy that is deeply felt today. They supercharge climate change — which means more floods, fires, and heatwaves for all of us.

By raising our voices with players and fans, together we can call on the Minister for Sport to ban fossil fuel sponsorship in sports – just like tobacco sponsorship was banned. Will you sign the petition?

Text over image of hands holding AFL ball says 'Kick fossil fuels out of sports'
Using sponsorship to cover up harm comes straight out of the Big Tobacco playbook, and the fossil fuel industry is using it across the country:

  • Origin Energy, which steamrolled Traditional Owners to frack in the Northern Territory, hides behind Netball Australia and youth netball programs4

  • Woodside Energy, whose gas plant is damaging an ancient Aboriginal rock art site in Western Australia, hides behind the Fremantle Dockers and children's Nippers swim club56

  • Santos, which trespasses on Gomeroi Country to frack in New South Wales, hides behind the Wallaroos and community rugby7

  • Tamboran Resources, who are fracking the Northern Territory and ignoring Traditional Owners, hides behind The Dolphins NRL8

But now, players and fans are pushing to reclaim sport from coal, oil, and gas corporations. Will you stand with them?
We know public pressure works. In the 1980s, the three largest tobacco companies were also the three biggest sponsors of Australian sport.9

After sustained efforts from athletes, fans, clubs, doctors, and everyday people, the Minister for Sport banned tobacco sponsorship in 1992 — making our country one of the first to legislate an end to tobacco sponsorship in sporting events.

The majority of sporting organisations quickly moved to replace tobacco company sponsorships.

Tell the Minister for Sport it's time to ban fossil fuel sponsorship too.

[1] Cummins raised objection to Cricket Australia's Alinta deal, The Sydney Morning Herald, 18 October 2022.
[2] Dockers legends and fans urge club to dump Woodside as major sponsor, The Age, 19 October 2022.
[3] 'Human billboards': from fossil fuels to gambling, sport sponsorship is no longer a silent issue, Crikey, 24 October 2022.
[4] In a win for Traditional Owners, Origin is walking away from the Beetaloo Basin. But the fight against fracking is not over, The Conversation, 20 September 2022.
[5] See reference 2.
[6] WA Nippers parents speak out against Woodside Energy sponsorship deal, The Guardian, 22 November 2021.
[7] The Gomeroi people have fought Santos' Narrabri Gas Project for a decade. They hope a novel climate change argument could help them win, ABC News, 13 September 2022.
[8] Traditional Owners continue fight in Beetaloo following Origin's ASX breaking news, GetUp, 19 September 2022.
[9] Tobacco Sponsorship and Advertising in Sport, Clearinghouse for Sport, 13 October 2020.


To Hon Anika Wells (Minister for Sport), and national sport peak bodies:

We stand with athletes and fans in calling for a ban on fossil fuel sponsorship in sports. Burning coal, oil, and gas causes climate change and air pollution, neither of which are conducive to life, let alone playing sports.

Like tobacco sponsorship in the past, fossil fuel sponsorship is an attempt to cover up the harm this industry causes, and there should be zero tolerance for this corporate greenwashing.

We call on you to ban fossil fuel sponsorship in sports.

Yours sincerely,

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