- Latrell Mitchell hits out over national anthem furore
- Says song needs to be changed to include Indigenous people
- Shared post saying ‘It’s hard to sing without a voice’
Rabbitohs star Latrell Mitchell has defended players not singing the national anthem after several footy stars remained silent ahead of Australia’s match on Saturday against Samoa.
Payne Haas, Kotoni Stagg, Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow and Selwyn Cobbo were seen not singing the national anthem before the Pacific Championship Test in Townsville.
Footage of the quartet not singing angered former ARL chairman Ken Arthurson who said the players should show more ‘respect’, while media figure Peter Peters said: ‘I’m sick and tired of seeing players zip their mouth in the national anthem.’
Rugby league legend Max Krilich called for players to be dropped from the Kangaroos if they do not wish to sing Advance Australia Fair before matches.
‘It embarrasses me when they stand there staring like stunned mullets during the national anthem.
Latrell Mitchell has defended players not singing the national anthem, arguing that a song should be made that ‘includes Indigenous people’
Several players were criticised for standing silently during the national anthem on Saturday
‘It’s about showing respect for the national anthem of our country. It’s one-in, all-in so if you don’t want to sing the song then you’re out.’
On Tuesday, Mitchell took to social media to slam Krilich’s assessment of the situation.
‘One in all in, he says?’ wrote Mitchell on his Instagram story.
‘Well, make a song that includes Indigenous people.
‘Maybe change the date [of Australia Day]? Or, I don’t know even a voice to be heard?’
Mitchell also shared a post from The Tribal Tribune headlined ‘Hard to sing without a voice’. The post showed an image of Indigenous footy star Selwyn Cobbo standing silently during the national anthem.
Mitchell isn’t the only footy star defending player’s who choose not to sing the anthem, with rugby league legend Jonathan Thurston and Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga hitting back at the criticism players have copped.
‘I know that the Indigenous All Stars didn’t sing the anthem and didn’t want the anthem played in those games at the start of the year, and that was a decision that they made as a collective group,’ Thurston said.
Mitchell took issue with Max Krilich’s take on players not singing Advance Australia Fair
Mitchell shared a post from The Tribal Tribune headlined ‘Hard to sing without a voice’ showing an image Indigenous footy star Selwyn Cobbo
Indigenous footy greats Mal Meninga and Jonathan Thurston have also backed players who choose not to sing the anthem before a match
‘I’m not exactly sure which players didn’t sing the anthem this time, but that’s their belief and their personal decision.
‘Just like the nation voted on the referendum, they are allowed to do their thing as well. While you might not like it, that’s their decision.’
Meninga also backed his players, saying they should have the freedom to sing or not.
‘I don’t say anything (to the players), I think it’s personal preference,’ Meninga told Triple M.
‘They’ve grown up with certain values, certainly with their families and those values have got to be respected.
‘I think it’s up to the individual. I personally sing the national anthem because I’m a proud Australian.’