Will Chambers, far left, he won’t sing the national anthem in Origin I. Picture: Getty Images
Will Chambers, far left, he won’t sing the national anthem in Origin I. Picture: Getty Images

Maroons star comes out swinging on national anthem

Queensland Origin star Will Chambers has turned up the heat on Australia's politicians by declaring he won't sing the national anthem in Origin I this Wednesday night.

NSW duo Cody Walker and Josh Addo-Carr have already stated they will not sing the national anthem and Maroons rival Chambers today spoke out in rugby league's most forceful condemnation yet of Advance Australia Fair.

Chambers says the anthem does not currently represent Australian history and the Indigenous people and for that reason, he will boycott singing it at Suncorp Stadium.

"It doesn't represent us," said Chambers, an Aboriginal who hails from Gove in the Northern Territory.

"It's our personal choice and I won't be singing.

"It's part and parcel of what's going on in the world at the moment, particularly inside Australia.

"I think it's only fair for our Indigenous boys and people in general to embrace what is fair.

"If the guys (Indigenous Origin players) don't want to sing it, so be it."

Will Chambers, far left, he won’t sing the national anthem in Origin I. Picture: Getty Images
Will Chambers, far left, he won’t sing the national anthem in Origin I. Picture: Getty Images


The 31-year-old Chambers said it was time for Australia's leading politicians to lead a high-level push to change the anthem.

"If enough of us stand by and not sing, maybe one day there will be change and that's all we can hope for," he said.

"If we all understood what had gone and what has happened in the past with Australian history, well then maybe it is time for change, but if it's not changed, well I'm not going to acknowledge it.

"It has to start a bit higher up than the NRL, we are the NRL, it's the national anthem in general.

"Schools sing national anthems, it has to be politicians who have to make the change.

"That would be nice if they don't play it but then it causes an uproar ... just change the anthem and everyone is happy."

NSW and Queensland players line up for the national anthem before the start of Game Two during the 2018 State of Origin series. Picture: AAP
NSW and Queensland players line up for the national anthem before the start of Game Two during the 2018 State of Origin series. Picture: AAP

Asked if he had sung the anthem in the past, Chambers said: "I have been off and on but as I've learnt more about my people and history I've shied away from it a little bit.

"It's learning. Australia has to learn history a bit and I understand now what really happened (to Indigenous people).

"That's why I've decided not to sing it."

Chambers believes there is a genuine push for the national anthem to be change to reflect all of Australian society. The Maroons centre's strong views come just 24 hours after Queensland champion Johnathan Thurston called for a referendum on Advance Australia Fair.

"Momentum is building," he said.

Will Chambers says it’s time for Australia’s leading politicians to lead a high-level push to change the anthem. Picture: AAP
Will Chambers says it’s time for Australia’s leading politicians to lead a high-level push to change the anthem. Picture: AAP


"But at the end of the day it's got to come from people a lot higher than me. I will do my bit and stand up for my people. A few of the other boys have spoken about doing their bit (not signing the anthem) so we'll see how it goes.

"I know I do have an impact in the community and the young generations and rugby league in general. There will be people above me who have to make a decision.

"It's not up for me to make that decision. If they don't want to acknowledge it (the anthem being changed), then we are banging our heads against a wall.

"I'm not going to say you have to change it but then I won't acknowledge it."



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