Demons barred from wearing Indigenous jumper

Melbourne has been forced to abandon its Indigenous jumper for their Round 11 clash against the Western Bulldogs after it was bizarrely deemed a colour clash.

As the Melbourne and Bulldogs players lined up prior to the blockbuster Friday night clash, fans noticed that the Demons were in their traditional red and blue strip.

The club addressed the omission of its Indigenous jumper in a statement on social media during the first quarter of the match against the Bulldogs.

“We’ve noticed a bit of confusion around our jumpers tonight!” the statement read on Twitter.

“Unfortunately, we’re unable to wear our Indigenous guernsey this week, due to a jumper clash with the Western Bulldogs.”

According to AFL reporter Jon Ralph, the Demons were told by the AFL that their Indigenous jumper was a “significant” clash with the Bulldogs jumper, and were denied the ability to wear it despite an appeal this week.

Ralph added that the decision to bar Melbourne from wearing their Indigenous jumper was “strange” given the clash between Essendon and Collingwood’s ANZAC Day jumpers earlier in the year.

“They’re not thrilled about it,” Ralph said on Fox Footy.

“It’s not appreciably worse than the ANZAC Day (jumper) clash between Essendon and Collingwood. It does seem a strange decision.”

Melbourne will wear its Indigenous jumper during the AFL’s second Sir Doug Nicholls round in Round 12 when they take on the Brisbane Lions.

Lions great Jonathan Brown admitted that the AFL’s flexible fixturing this year was the main reason for jumpers clashing between teams.

“I guess the problem is, because they don’t announce the fixtures until a few weeks beforehand, the jumper designs are already done,” Brown told Fox Footy.

“This year is a unique year as the planning goes.”

Melbourne is currently scheduled to open Round 12 when they host the Brisbane Lions at TIO Traeger Park in Alice Springs.

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