‘I’m sick of sports being ruined by politics’: Pauline Hanson lets go of the Matildas as she poses with Aboriginal flag at Olympics
Pauline Hanson has unleashed the Matildas on Olympic athletes after they posed with the Aboriginal flag at the Tokyo Olympics.
The Australian women’s football team posed with the flag on Wednesday evening for their opening game of the Olympic Games against New Zealand in Tokyo.
Ms Hanson claimed the moment was “a slap in the face to all Australians” and accused the team of “hijacking” the sports competition.
Matildas’ squad made a powerful statement by posing with the Aboriginal flag before kick-off on Wednesday night
The One Nation leader claimed the gesture was a “symbolic” attempt at being politically correct.
“Australians are tired of their favorite sport being ruined by politics,” Ms Hanson wrote in her press release on Friday.
Indigenous flags do not represent all Australians. There is only one flag that really represents us all.”
After posing with the flag before the game, The Matildas then stood arm in arm on the halfway line as their Kiwi opponents fell to one knee in support of racism ahead of kick-off.
But Ms Hanson said the gesture was decisive rather than promoting solidarity.
Pauline Hanson (pictured) said Matilda’s move was ‘a symbolic PC gesture’
“Taxpayers don’t spend millions of dollars sending Olympic teams to represent two countries. We are one nation, Australia, both indigenous and non-indigenous.’
Viewers watching at home appreciated the inclusive gesture, but some also wondered why the team chose not to pose with the Australian flag.
“Hey Matildas… you represent Australia. The Aboriginal flag is not the Australian flag,” one fan wrote.
Another added: ‘I absolutely love watching the Matildas play, but why the hell did they display the Aboriginal flag and not the Australian flag? It is, in my opinion, such a strange, divisive situation for a country to have two flags.
Others accused the Matildas of making a political statement.
“When will sports be just about sports and sports, yes I agree that statements need to be made on political issues, but there’s definitely a place for that to happen,” commented one viewer.
Many viewers wondered why the Matildas (pictured) didn’t pose with the Australian flag
The Matilda’s strong statement came under fire from viewers at home
Another wondered why the Matildas didn’t kneel for kick-off too.
“Many questions about the Matildas at the Olympics. Strong choice to keep the Australian flag not just the Aboriginal flag but then not go down on their knees like their NZ counterparts. Does anyone know why or did I miss it?” one woman tweeted.
But many viewers were delighted to see the Aboriginal flag.
“Well done Matildas for standing arm in arm in a show of unity and togetherness for all Australian cultures, if only for those who kneel to the real value of equality,” wrote one fan.
Matildas captain Sam Kerr defended the gesture after the game, saying it was decided in consultation with indigenous members of the squad.
“We are really proud of it,” said the star striker after the 2-1 victory.
Matilda’s Kiwi opponents also caused controversy by kneeling before kick-off
“It’s something we talked about a lot as a team.
“We’ll let the native girls drive it.”
“We didn’t want to do something that goes with the grain, we wanted to do something that was relevant to our country.”
Australia will take on world number five Sweden in their next clash on Saturday, which sent a huge shock on Wednesday night by beating gold medal favorites USA 3-0.
The Matildas (pictured in action on Wednesday night) decided to pose with the Aboriginal flag after consulting with Indigenous players on the squad