Debate erupts after indigenous man refuses to sing or stand for Australia’s national anthem at Tim Tszyu fight
- A protest at an Australian boxing match has sparked a debate
- Indigenous audience member refused to stand for anthem
An Aboriginal audience member at an Australian boxing match caused a stir after refusing to stand for the national anthem.
The post holder filmed his protest during Tim Tszyu’s WBO super welterweight fight in Sydney on Sunday night and shared it online.
“We don’t stand up or sing this,” he captioned the video along with black, yellow and red dots that symbolize the aboriginal flag.
The rest of the crowd can be seen on their feet as a singer sings Advance Australia Fair in the middle of the ring below a huge Australian flag being projected on the screens above him.
The clip also briefly shows some of the man’s friends in his row not standing or singing.
An audience member refused to stand during the Australian national anthem at Tim Tszyu’s game on Sunday night, prompting a backlash.
The Australian (left) defeated American Tony Harrison (right) to win the WBO interim junior middleweight belt
The clip has sparked a heated debate with more than a thousand comments in less than a day.
Many comments appeared outraged by the protest.
‘Well, as part of this great nation, you should stand up,’ said one.
You are paying to see someone who respects their country. He’s proud to be Australian,” added another.
“I have enough respect to sit down and welcome the country,” said a fourth.
One American even compared it to kneeling protests common among African-American athletes at sporting events.
‘Brother, when they do this in my country, everyone throws things at them,’ they said.
But others supported the man’s choice.
‘You do and I respect your decision. I say let’s not push one more wedge between all of us and try to make the country the best it can be,” one person said.
“I love this,” said another simply.
“Kia Ora bro I’d sit with you,” wrote a New Zealander.
“They always sang it at school in assembly and the teachers punished me for not standing up,” added a fourth.
One person even asked ‘negative commenters’ if they weren’t being Australian.
‘Isn’t one of the things you love about our country the freedom to stand up for what you believe in?’
The man decided to share his refusal to stand for the anthem on TikTok, where he received mostly negative comments, though some jumped to his defense.
The small protest follows in the footsteps of Invasion Day demonstrations across the country just a few weeks ago, on January 26, attended by thousands of people who seemed to dwarf Australia Day celebrations.
And later this year Australians will be asked to vote in the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum.
The yes or no vote will ask whether Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be recognized in the Constitution through an ‘independent and representative advisory body for First Nations people’.
Fight-wise, Tszyu won with a ninth-round TKO over American boxer Tony Harrison to win the WBO interim junior middleweight belt and continue his 23-fight unbeaten streak.
The 28-year-old now has his eyes set on fighting American Jermell Charlo in Las Vegas.
Charlo said on Sunday: ‘I have silenced a lot of fighters. Tim is one more.