The Roar
The Roar


Basil Zempilas cops a pasting on Twitter for lockdown applause suggestion

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25th September, 2021

The Lord Mayor of Perth Basil Zempilas has come under fire on Twitter for suggesting the crowd applaud for a minute at the 20:21 mark of the first quarter in support of those living in lockdown around the country.

UPDATE: It appears the crowd did not heed Zempilas instruction – with no applause detected on the Channel Seven coverage of the grand final.

But the former Channel Seven commentator’s idea was met with a mostly negative reception on the social network, with users complaining about the tone-deaf nature of the gesture.

Some pointed out that people at a sports event applauding those in lockdown just rubbed further salt in the wound.


Others said the notion of solidarity was absurd in the face of Western Australia’s notoriously strict border stance.


Some defended Zempilas and criticised what they called unnecessary negativity.

Others just took the opportunity to take the mickey.


The AFL grand final takes place tonight in Perth. It’s the first time the grand final has been played in Western Australia and is the second straight season COVID outbreaks have forced Melbourne to surrender the decider to an interstate city.

Zempilas was elected Lord Mayor of Perth in October 2020, which saw him step down from his role as football commentator with Seven – which he’d held since 2012.

Optus Stadium is in the suburb of Burswood, which sits outside Zempilas’ jurisdiction in the council area of Victoria Park.