Reconciliation Australia supports the right of players in the Rugby League State of Origin teams (or other sporting codes) to not sing the words of the National Anthem if they so choose.
We do not believe their decision should be politicised.
The players involved say the words of the National Anthem are not inclusive of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. To say we are ‘young and free’ ignores the truth of Indigenous longevity in this country.
Respectfully, the players are standing up for what they believe in and value, and should be applauded for the mature way they have voiced their concerns. Tonight’s game is a fierce sporting contest with a huge audience. Let’s not turn it into a spat about who should or shouldn’t sing the anthem. Sport is bigger than that. Australians are bigger than that.