- Latrell Mitchell takes on national anthem furor
- 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 football stars remained silent ahead of Australia’s match on Saturday against Samoa.
Payne Haas, Kotoni Stagg, Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow and Selwyn Cobbo were not seen singing the national anthem ahead of the Pacific Championship Test in Townsville.
Footage of the quartet not singing angered former ARL chairman Ken Arthurson, who said players should show more “respect”, while media figure Peter Peters said: “I’m tired of seeing players shut their mouths during the national anthem.
Rugby league legend Max Krilich has called for players to be banned from the Kangaroos if they do not wish to sing Advance Australia Fair before matches.
“It bothers me when they stand there staring like stunned mules during the national anthem.
Latrell Mitchell defended players not singing the national anthem, arguing they needed to create a song that ‘includes indigenous people’
Several players were criticized for remaining silent during the national anthem on Saturday.
“It’s about showing respect for our country’s national anthem. It’s an all-in-one, so if you don’t want to sing the song, you’re out.
On Tuesday, Mitchell took to social media to criticize Krilich’s assessment of the situation.
“One in all,” he said? Mitchell wrote on his Instagram story.
“Well, make a song that includes indigenous people.
“Maybe change the date (of Australia Day)? Or, I don’t even know a voice to hear?
Mitchell also shared an article from The Tribal Tribune titled “It’s Hard to Sing Without a Voice.” The post showed an image of Indigenous football star Selwyn Cobbo standing silently during the national anthem.
Mitchell is not the only reigning player to have chosen not to sing the anthem, with rugby league legend Jonathan Thurston and Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga hitting back at criticism the players received.
“I know the Indigenous All Stars did not sing the anthem and did not want the anthem played at those matches earlier in the year, and that was a decision they made as as a collective group,” Thurston said.
Mitchell challenged Max Krilich’s view that players weren’t singing Advance Australia Fair
Mitchell shared an article from The Tribal Tribune titled “Hard to sing without a voice” showing an image of Indigenous football star Selwyn Cobbo
Indigenous football greats Mal Meninga and Jonathan Thurston have also supported players who choose not to sing the anthem before a match.
“I don’t know exactly which players didn’t sing the anthem this time, but it’s their belief and their personal decision.
“Just as the nation voted in the referendum, they are also allowed to do whatever they want. Even though you might not like it, it’s their decision.
Meninga also supported his players, saying they should have the freedom to sing or not.
“I don’t say anything (to the players), I think it’s a personal preference,” Meninga told Triple M.
“They grew up with certain values, certainly with their families and those values must be respected.
“I think it depends on each individual. Personally, I sing the national anthem because I am a proud Australian.