Levy Lets Fly: All Stars match “hijacked” by anthem controversy
Mark Levy says the NRL All Star match was hijacked over the weekend.
The Indigenious All Stars, who beat the Maori All Stars 34-14 in Melbourne on Friday night, opted not to sing the national anthem during the pre-game ceremony.
Indigenous All Stars captain Cody Walker and Mal Meninga later called for the national anthem to be changed, with Levy telling Breakfast the match was supposed to unite cultures, not divide the country.
“I’d much prefer if those conversations are left out of sport but I understand why they did it,” he said.
“I think it’s important to put everything into perspective for a moment, the Indigenous players didn’t stay in the dressing room, they didn’t sit down during the anthem but they simply chose not to mouth the words, given it’s something they don’t agree with.
“I’m not going to shoot them down over what was a silent protest but again, I’ll admit I was disappointed they chose to shift the focus from a celebration of Indigenous Culture to a debate over whether we should change the national anthem.
“I thought it was supposed to be a week where the two cultures celebrated their heritage in the community but instead, they’ve turned it into a political issue that divides the country and reignited a fierce debate.”
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