Indigenous All Stars stayed silent during the Australian national anthem.
Indigenous All Stars stayed silent during the Australian national anthem.

Buzz: Scrap Aussie anthem if All Stars won’t sing

Your columnist is a huge fan of the national anthem at major sporting events.

I love watching the players singing and bursting with pride in TV close-ups, especially when its Australia v England. It can be a goose-bump moment.

Which brings me to the point of this column item.

The one thing that disappointed me on an otherwise great occasion for rugby league in Melbourne on Friday night was the indigenous players not singing the anthem.

This is their choice and I have absolutely no problem with that.

These guys were playing for their jersey, their families and their culture. Their passion is beautiful.

Rabbitohs star Cody Walker, who skippered the indigenous team, called for the national anthem to be changed, saying the current song: "doesn't represent myself and my family".

Asked if he was comfortable standing for the anthem, he said: "To be honest, no.

"It just brings back so many memories of what's happened (in Australia's past).

"It's something that everyone as a group and everyone in Australia need to get together and working something out. It doesn't represent myself and my family."

 

Indigenous players perform a traditional war cry, led by Latrell Mitchell.
Indigenous players perform a traditional war cry, led by Latrell Mitchell.

 

So the question needs to be asked … why even play the anthem at this game?

"It's a fair debate," says indigenous coach Laurie Daley, "I can understand the punters are talking about it."

Daley says the anthem was never discussed while the players were in camp.

Next year the NRL should drop the anthem.

It's better than looking at 17 expressionless faces as the cameras pan across the team.

 

 

News Corp Australia


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