- Mundine shouted about inaccurate claims
- Believes he missed the 42-man tour of England
- He says it was racism that kept him out of the squad
Footy star turned three-time world boxing champion Anthony Mundine has been abused and branded a liar by footy fans after opening up about why he walked away from the NRL.
In an emotional episode of SAS Australia, Mundine admitted he had stopped playing rugby league after missing out on selection for the Kangaroos.
When asked to tell his story, Mundine spoke about the racism he faced and made some inaccurate statements about why he decided to leave the sport for boxing.
“I feel like the system was against me,” he told SAS instructor Ant Middleton.
‘I made my debut in ’93. I was 18 years old. I was just a skinny kid. And I was cutting, but I felt like I wasn’t getting the accolades. If I were a white man, I would….”
Anthony Mundine has been blasted by footy fans over claims about his footy career
Mundine says he was not selected for 42-man squad to tour England in 1999
Middleton then interjected, “Oh, you believe it was about racing?”
Mundine replied: “100 percent…I knew from a young age that I wanted to play for Australia, that was my goal.
‘(1999) was probably one of my best years. But at the end of that year they toured England. I don’t know if it was the World Cup, but they were on tour.
“They picked 42 guys to go on this tour. I was undoubtedly the best player in the league… The statistics showed that. They showed that 100 percent. No one close to me in my position.”
Middleton said, “So you’re obviously picked for the team?”
Mundine replied, “No. I wasn’t picked for the team. The Australian coach said I wasn’t picked (because of) my qualities off the field. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I’ve never done drugs in my life, but I’m very outspoken.
‘They just wanted to show me that they were in power. So they didn’t pick me… They crushed me. Crushed me. Destroyed me. I basically ripped my heart out.
‘I have been playing since I was young, I started playing football when I was four years old.
“You ask any of my peers who played in 1999 if I should have been picked (in the national team), and 100 percent of them will say ‘yes’.
Fans pointed out that there was no tour of England in 1999, nor was there a 42-man squad
Mundine claims he was not chosen for the party because he was outspoken and native
“Aboriginal boys have to be ten times better than others to be picked (in a Kangaroos team).”
Fans watching the show at home quickly found holes in Mundine’s version of events.
Mundine was wrong about the 1999 tour of England, and he was wrong about a 42-man squad.
Fans were also quick to add that ‘The Man’ was competing with some of the best players the NRL has ever seen, including Andrew Johns and Darren Lockyer.
One . I’ve heard this so many times.’
“The only person who thought Anthony Mundine was the best player in the league at the time was Anthony Mundine,” replied another.
“Imagine having all the success he has had in boxing and still being shocked to the core at what he thought he missed in RL,” said a third.
‘Despite being talented, he wasn’t the best at his position, let alone in the game. IMHO of course,” said a third.
Another user added: ‘His selfishness in the 1999 grand final cost St. George. That’s what the selectors remember. Oh, two guys named Fittler and Johns. I heard they were pretty useful.”