An Aboriginal activist has claimed Australia is a ‘crime scene’ and compared the condition Indigenous people are forced to live in as similar to France under the rule of the Nazis in World War Two.
Activist Wayne Wharton made the controversial comments during a fiery clash on 3AW with host Neil Mitchell about whether boxer Anthony Mundine’s proposed boycott by Aboriginal players involved in the NRL and AFL grand finals on the weekend was appropriate .
‘Australia is still a crime scene,’ Wharton declared. ‘Do you realise that Australia is still a crime scene? And many aboriginal people who are locked up in jail are prisoners of war.’
Indigenous activist Wayne Wharton (right) made his controversial comments on 3AW to host Neil Mitchell (left)
Mundine is one of Australia’s most successful sports stars, leaving a successful NRL career to win the world super-middle weight title in boxing. However, he is also one of the country’s most outspoken athletes, and immediately came under fire for suggesting NRL and AFL players should boycott the Australian anthem at this weekend’s grand finals.
But Wharton said he found both the national anthem and flag offensive.
‘We’re in an occupied country. The same as France was an occupied country by the Nazis and Poland was an occupied country by the Nazis,’ he said on 3AW.
‘We’re an occupied people in this country and we’re living in a crime scene.’ Mitchell replied: ‘Are we Nazis now are we?’
Former rugby league star Anthony Mundine has urged NRL and AFL players to boycott the Australian anthem at this weekend’s grand finals
Mundine appeared at a press conference on Friday afternoon in Sydney
During the press conference he held up verses of the national anthem and read some out
‘You’re equivalent to them. I’m an occupied person. My country is occupied and I’m a subject of war. I’m not a free person in my own country,’ Wharton replied.
Mundine appeared at a press conference on Friday afternoon in Sydney to defend his stance about the national anthem. He held up verses of it and read some out to show that they had racist elements in them.
‘It’s just words to you but to me – from the Indigenous background that I’m from – it means something very different,’ he said about the anthem.
‘Until something gets done we’ll continue to fight and that’s all we can do. Nothing has changed today – it maybe even worse.’
The Swans line up for the national anthem before the First AFL Semi Final match. They’ve been urged to boycott the national anthem at their Grand Final against the Bulldogs
The Western Bulldogs will play in the AFL Grand Final. ‘All players aboriginal & non aboriginal should boycott the anthem & start changing Australia’s ignorant mentality,’ Mundine posted
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said all Australians should sing the national anthem
The campaign, driven by Australian pop culture website Junkee, follows the lead of San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players who have knelt during the US anthem to protest against racial inequality and injustice.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also weighed in on Mundine’s controversial remarks, saying all Australians should sing the national anthem.
‘This is a weekend where everyone comes together,’ Turnbull told 3AW Radio. ‘The two big codes, the NRL and AFL work hard to be inclusive and embrace modern Australia and all of its diversity. Everyone should sing.
Last week, former league players Larry Corowa and Joe Williams also called on indigenous players in Sunday’s NRL decider to not stand for the anthem
The Cronulla Sharks will face Melbourne Storm at their Grand Final on Sunday