Has there ever been a publicly announced political decision overturned so quickly? It started with the announcement on Thursday morning that for this year’s Home State there would be no national anthem being played This, league general manager Andrew Abdo told us. , was due to the fact that nothing was more « tribal » than Origin, and therefore it was not necessary to create a national anthem
In the first place, the movement played discreet reason For most of Australia’s history, the national anthem has only been played at sporting events when it comes to » a true international between an Australian team and the team of another nation Americans could play the star-spangled banner before every baseball, NFL, and hockey game, but we didn’t. Anyway, we weren’t really the type to wave a flag and sing the national anthem (Look for it We weren’t) We only started singing national anthems before big sports games in around the same time players started high-fives and talking about « DEE-fence » and « OH-fence », rather than defense and attack. Much like leading American sport, Australian sport has grown into a high-profile sport, and with it came the national anthem ahead of major sporting events like Origin
The second reason it was a smart move was because it allowed the NRL to sidestep controversy – still a good idea for a code whose controversy still spills over. Last week, as you will recall, the Wallabies were briefly engulfed in huge controversy after a player voiced the opinion that since this upcoming Bledisloe was an Indigenous round and that they would wear an Indigenous jersey, they could very well express their basic solidarity with the indigenous struggle in this country and « take a knee »
The NRL announced they would be dispensing with the national anthem for the State of Origin series and then hours later said it would be playedCredit: Getty
The result was – don’t get me started – a numerically limited but nonetheless strong outcry, led by my dear friend Nick Farr-Jones, that it would risk alienating rugby fans as the game got back on its feet , and in any case there was no racism in Australia (Don’t get me started, I say!) Two days later, Rugby Australia bowed, saying there would be no knee
And this despite the fact that in the rugby league there have been numerous cases of NRL players who have caught a knee before club matches this season – most notably in the case of the Penrith Panthers, earlier in the season – and, as happened with AFL clubs taking the same approach, it didn’t matter Those who wanted it did, and those who didn’t, weren’t obligated League and AFL supporters took it in their stride and no one charged for outings, just because the players wanted to show solidarity for a – you heard me – noble cause And likewise, if you can believe it, those who took a knee did not turn out to be Marxists wanted to overthrow the establishment! With the exception of maybe, I guess, Bronwyn Bishop – who probably passed out somewhere the commies had taken over Australian sport – everyone has moved on with their lives with commendable maturity.
Still, what if they played the national anthem at an event as prestigious as State of Origin, and the many native players, in particular, got down on their knees? And did the men whose ancestors have been here for 65,000 years really expect to say the words « for we are young and free », denying the fact that Australia in fact has the oldest continuous culture on the planet? , and what to be proud of? In recent times, Indigenous status players Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker have expressed strong reservations about singing such a hymn and it has been canned ahead of this year’s Indigenous All-Star game.
This time around, when some Indigenous players are thought to have expressed reservations about singing it before the Origin, the league leaders made the decision: the anthem can So, everything’s fine. well?
Yeah, until someone in particular got wind of it.Because when word got out that there would be no national anthem, Prime Minister Scott Morrison got involved, insisting more or less for it to be played as it would bring us quite etc Faced with this demand, Peter V’landys – who has had a very good track record in supporting Indigenous actors and issues – nonetheless almost instantly said: « Yes, Prime Minister, » turned around, yelling at a sound. six pence, and the league administration roared the other way
The league « never intended to make a political statement, » said M V’landys, and the anthem has been restored
“The NRL did the right thing,” the PM purred in response “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 together our national anthem at the game that many of us love »
Yes, Prime Minister After a very difficult year of plague and plague, foreclosure and a sluggish economy, making the league players sing the national anthem will make it all better
Anyhoo, this is where it is now The interesting thing will be if one of the native players, in particular, chants the words « for we are young and free », and if any of them take a knee
If they refuse to sing it or take a knee – maybe supported by non-native players – good luck to them It will be their perfect right, just as it will be fair to those who don’t
Again and again Fire at will See if I care I’ll be in my trailer
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National Rugby League, State of Origin series
World news – UA – PM attacks NRL on the National Anthem of Origin and forces a number d ‘business
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