NRL bans the Australian national anthem from State of Origin series

The NRL banned the Australian national anthem from being played.

The announcement came after NSW players Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker caused outrage in the 2019 season opener by refusing to sing the anthem.

Blues duo Josh Addo-Carr and Blake Ferguson did not join Advance Australia Fair after the divisive boycott in game one, though Maroons trio Will Chambers, Dane Gagai and Josh Papalii remained tight-lipped as well.

When the series starts at Adelaide Oval on Wednesday, it will be the first time in 40 years that the anthem will not be played until kick-off.

At a meeting earlier this week, after consultation with the chairmen of the NSW and QLD associations, an independent commission made the announcement.

It is known that the decision was objected by NSW and the reason given was that the series was not between foreign countries.

The NRL, however, has confirmed that the anthem for the grand finals will remain.

“I was ashamed of myself when I left that meeting,” ARLC chair Peter V’landys said in July.

“I was disappointed that I was unaware of their situation, the historical issues over our time and some of the things that they go through.

“We made a lot of mistakes with our Indigenous communities. We need to acknowledge those mistakes, and we don’t want to make the same mistakes again.”

Manly’s Indigenous veteran Joel Thompson praised V’Landys’ leadership following the meeting.

“It’s pretty unprecedented this support from the NRL, it makes me so proud of our game,” Thompson told NRL.com in August.

“It did sort of start with that meeting last year. We had concerns about our place in the game and our players, the way they were being treated.

“Peter’s obviously got a busy schedule but he took the time to come and sit with us and share some stories and listen to our stories.

“He shared a few of his own experiences from growing up as well.

“But overall he was there to support us players and that’s what it’s all about.

“There was some emotion for some, but it was also just a healthy conversation, sharing our opinions where we didn’t feel like we were being heard before.

“I think going forward it’s benefiting everyone to have healthy, happy players who believe in where the game is going. It goes both ways with that support.”

Leave a Comment