The NASL's Minnesota United FC announced it will be part of the international research survey, “Assessing the Australian Football League's Racial and Religious Vilification Laws to promote Community, Harmony, Multiculturalism and Reconciliation.”
This goal of the project is to examine the effectiveness of the Australian Football League’s (AFL) vilification rules (known as Rule 30). You can find more information about AFL Rule 30 here.
“Our interest in Minnesota United came about through word of the club’s active engagement with fairness and equity issues in their local community and national sports scene,” said researcher Dr. Dean Lusher. “Their sponsorship of local LGBT events and involvement in Athlete Ally was a big part of the reason we selected the the club.”
Minnesota United is the only North American professional sports team to be selected as part of the research project.
“We are honored to be chosen as part of this research,” said United President Nick Rogers. “For me, the central thing we do as a club is create a culture. We want to have a culture of winning and a culture of excellence and that necessitates a culture of tolerance. We want to send a message to prospective players that this is an organization of acceptance.”
The research will focus on efforts to combat various forms of discrimination in sports. Minnesota United FC was considered an intriguing case study and important complement to the various international research sites.
"Clubs have their own cultures and ways of doing things," said Dr. Lusher. "Minnesota United FC has a reputation for being a very inclusive club, and our research will try to understand what factors help shape this culture. The importance of this is that Minnesota United FC might provide an appropriate model of club culture that can be adopted in other clubs that are struggling with issues of diversity and inclusivity."
The research will be conducted Monday, February 17 with Minnesota United players, coaches and front office personnel. The project is led by Dr. Sean Gorman, the Lead Chief Investigator from Curtin University in Australia. Dr. Dean Lusher from the Centre for Transformative Innovation, Swineburne University of Technology, and Dr. H. Colin Gallagher from the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne, will be traveling to Minnesota to conduct the research.