Prominent Bundy leader supports anthem protest from players
BUNDABERG indigenous leader Kerry Blackman has supported State of Origin players refusing to sing the national anthem before Wednesday night's clash.
The decision started making headlines last week when New South Wales player Cody Walker said he wouldn't be singing the anthem.
Dr Blackman, of Gidarjil Development Corporation, said it was a matter for each player to decide.
"If you break it down line by line, you've got to ask yourself what fits aboriginal people,” Dr Blackman said.
"I fully support the stance, there are still unresolved issues.
"There needs to be a treaty agreement, the land and waters were stolen and people were forcibly removed without consent.
"We don't have or share in a fair, equal, or just society.”
Dr Blackman said he didn't believe the players should sing the anthem out of convenience.
"I don't see how we could sing this song from the heart and mind if it isn't true,” he said.
"I don't believe in telling the lie for convenience.
"Let's tell the truth, let's have a voice in parliament and let's have a treaty.
"We need to break the shackles of an unjust society.”
He said he supported the way the players went about pushing their cause.
"We've got to take every opportunity whether it's marching the streets, making a protest of using placards,” he said.
"We need to use every forum available as long as it's done in a controlled and civil manner,” Dr Blackman said.