Malcolm Turnbull Calls Out Anthony Mundine Over Latest Comments
Aussie Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has blasted Anthony Mundine for his call on footy players to boycott the Australian national anthem at this weekend’s AFL and NRL grand finals.
The controversial former rugby league star turned boxer has been urging Australian players to sit out the anthem at the ANZ Stadium and MCG in support of the indigenous community in Australia.
San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been waging a similar campaign in the US in order to protest against racism and injustice against minorities and when news of the stateside protest broke, Mundine took to Facebook and posted the following comment:
“Been saying this for years! The anthem was written in late 1700s where black fullas were considered fauna (animals) Advance Australia Fair as in white not fair as in fair go … All players, aboriginal & non aboriginal should boycott the anthem & start changing Australia’s ignorant mentality … let’s move forward together, yo.”
Speaking on the radio station 3AW, Turnbull was asked whether Mundine’s calls were “divisive” and he answered, “I couldn’t agree with you more.”
“Both codes, AFL and NRL, work hard to be inclusive and embrace modern Australia and all of its diversity and this is a time when we all come together,” Turnbull said.
“Everyone should sing. Those like myself, who are perhaps not the best singers, should perhaps sing quietly so as not to ruin the experience for neighbours. But I think everyone should sing and everyone should just be proud about their country, our country, and the fact that we can come together in sport.
“Sport is a really wonderful, inclusive institution in Australia. It divides us in the sense that we back different teams, but only in a pretty good natured way, but above all it pulls us together and I think it’s wonderful for that reason and that’s why we should all sing.”
Last week, indigenous Australian former rugby league players Joe Williams and Larry Corowa added their names to the list of people calling for a boycott of the national anthem before Sunday’s NRL grand final.
“Imagine if a couple of guys did it on grand final day — what a powerful message it would send to white Australia,” Williams told Rugby League Week.
“It would bring all the racism that’s in the closet to the surface — the racism we have to put up with every day. The way we are treated in shops, the way people look at us on the street and the way the government treats us.
“It’s time it stopped. And our footballers are role models and the ideal ones to bring about change.”