CONTROVERSIAL boxer Anthony Mundine has declared that he will boycott the singing of the national anthem at his fight against Daniel Geale tomorrow because he believes that the song’s lyrics promote the country’s inherent agenda of white supremacy.
Mundine, who will face Tasmanian Geale in an IBF World Title fight, has claimed that he is making a political stand against Advance Australia Fair in an effort to “educate and unite Australians” regarding the nation’s history of racism against the Indigenous community to which the boxer belongs.
Mundine said: “The truth is, that anthem was composed in the 1800s when Aborigines were considered fauna. From 1901 to 1973 there was a White Australia Policy to make Australia white, and guess what the theme song of that policy was – Advance Australia Fair. So what are they really singing, Advance Australia White.
“I am a guy who has always stood up for what I believe in, and if people were educated on that and knew the facts they would say ‘let’s change it for the better – for all Australians. I am not trying to divide people, I am trying to unite people. I have got white brothers, I have got white friends that I grew up with from school, but I want Australia to recognise the injustices and the wrongs, and it is an injustice that it still is the anthem.”
Mundine had previously been reluctant to respond to rumours that he would boycott the national anthem when asked at a press conference earlier this week. The event’s organisers have arranged for additional security to be put in place at the Sydney Entertainment Centre in preparation for any potential backlash against Mundine’s political protest.
The former rugby league international has argued that ‘Advance Australia Fair’ does not reflect the multicultural nature of modern Australia and particularly excludes the Indigenous Australians whose habitation of the country predated European settlement by around 50 000 years.
He said: “I want something that represents all Australians, not just something that represents the white Australia, which back in those days was very racist. There is still racism today but let’s try to breed it out and move forward.”
Mundine has promoted himself in the week leading up to his fight with Geale as a spokesperson for the Indigenous community. He claimed yesterday that his opponent was an ‘Uncle Tom’, as were Indigenous rugby league players Laurie Daley and Arthur Beetson who Mundine blamed for contributing to his exit from the NRL in 2000. ‘Uncle Tom’ is a term often utilised to describe black people that allow themselves to be dominated and controlled by ‘white society’.
Mundine drew significant criticism for his opinions on race late last year when he claimed that Geale should not wear an Aboriginal flag on his boxing trunks because “he’s got a white woman, he’s got white kids”. He later said that this statement reflected his belief that many Australians claimed Indigenous heritage purely to capitalise on government benefits.