World News – UA – NRL backs down anthem ban in home state after PM weighs in

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Soon after it was revealed that the National Anthem would not be played at the State of Origin games, the NRL reversed, confirming Advance Australia Fair will go ahead before the games as usual

The Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) said the move was in response to a backlash from fans after the initial decision to drop the anthem was reported by News Corp

« The original decision not to play the Anthem at Origin was about the rivalry and tribalism associated with the Origin series, » said Peter V’landys, President of ARLC

« However, after listening to the public’s response and given the strong national unity in tackling the COVID pandemic together, the commission decided it was important to ensure that unity continues

It would be wonderful if sporting events included a moving rendition of an anthem that spoke for all Australians, writes Richard Hinds

« We have always been a commission that listens to our fans We have heard the message and acted on it »

After the decision was revealed, V’landys also received a call from Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who said fans would not support the removal of the anthem

« This is a welcome move from the NRL The NRL has done the right thing by listening to its fans and acting quickly to reverse its choice not to play the national anthem on the Origin series » , said the Prime Minister

« We have all been through a year of struggle and heartache and it has never been more important to come together to celebrate Australia and to be able to sing our national anthem together than many ‘between us love « 

The first match in the coronavirus-delayed series will be played in Adelaide on Wednesday, with Advance Australia Fair played ahead of matches despite silent protests from indigenous players last year

Indigenous New South Wales stars Cody Walker, Latrell Mitchell and Josh Addo-Carr chose to remain silent during the song ahead of last year’s games

This season, the ARLC dropped the anthem for the Indigenous All Stars game after listening to players’ concerns that « the lyrics of the anthem do not represent them or their families »

The initial decision on this year’s Origin games is said to have been made after the NRL Independent Commission held talks with the Presidents of the New South Wales Rugby League and the Queensland Rugby League

In 2017, the ARLC performed an alternate version of the anthem, as well as the original, during its Indigenous tour

The reworked anthem, which aimed to « reach out to Indigenous Australians [and] all Australians, « recognized that Australia is not » young « as the frontline of Advance Australia Fair puts it, but includes » ancient history and culture « 

Chris Sarra, Indigenous member of ARLC, said: « as a game we want to be the leader in this space »

« We have embraced diversity and want to give Australia a taste of what a positive and more inclusive future looks like, » he said

« Anyone who is content to leave people on the margins must be surrounded by ignorance and lack of compassion »

This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and BBC World Service which is copyrighted and may not be reproduced

AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time, which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

National Rugby League, Home State Series, Anthem

News from around the world – UA – NRL backtracking on national anthem ban State of origin after the Prime Minister intervenes


SOURCE: https://www.w24news.com

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