'Downright disrespectful': Anger over AFL's 'inappropriate' Anzac Day move

Fans have slammed the AFL after they followed through with their plan to have pre-game entertainment at the annual Anzac Day game between Collingwood and Essendon.

Many railed against the decision when announced by the AFL last week, and even more were upset when Aussie band Birds of Tokyo played at the MCG on Thursday.

Birds of Tokyo were the innocent bystanders in the drama, but many social media users didn’t feel it was appropriate to have entertainment on such a solemn day.

Birds of Tokyo. Image: Channel 7

Many labelled the move ‘disrespectful’ and ‘inappropriate’.

Prior to performing, the band opened up about what playing on Anzac Day meant to them.

“It means a great deal and we’re honoured to be here,” lead-singer Ian Kenny said.

“We’re definitely aware of the tremendous sacrifices that have been made from previous generations,” drummer Weston added.

‘Recognising those who have served’

Weston, who is also a member of the Collingwood football club, previously said the band’s experience playing at the Invictus Games last year motivated them to accept the AFL’s offer.

“Being involved in the Invictus Games last year really reminded us of the importance of remembering fallen soldiers and recognising those who have served,” he told AFL.com.au.

“Australia’s biggest sporting stage will no doubt be at capacity to respect our returned and current serving defence personnel and we are pleased to be part of it.
“As a Collingwood member, the annual Anzac Day match at the MCG is always nothing short of breathtaking and I’m sure it will be an experience to remember for the whole band.”