NRL star Latrell Mitchell is among a group of indigenous rugby players to have reportedly forced the national anthem to be scrapped from the league’s All Stars game.
The Australian Rugby League Commission is expected to meet on Thursday and remove the anthem from the February 22 fixture’s pre-game proceedings.
Mitchell, 22, has become one of the main driving forces behind the push to stop Advance Australia Fair being played and refused to sing it at last year’s event.
South Sydney star Latrell Mitchell is pictured leading an indigenous war cry before the All Stars game in Melbourne last year. He has now reportedly forced the national anthem to be scrapped from this year’s All Stars fixture on the Gold Coast
Mitchell’s South Sydney Rabbitohs teammate Cody Walker said at the time the anthem ‘doesn’t represent me and my family’.
At least six indigenous players also refused to sing the national anthem during last year’s State of Origin series.
It is expected the ARL Commision will scrap the anthem under advice from the indigenous advisory council ahead of the annual celebration of the league’s Aboriginal and Maori players on the Gold Coast, reported.
Mitchell himself is hoping to be fit for the game, having started his NRL pre-season late after signing with the Rabbitohs.
There is reportedly no desire though for the anthem to be removed from the 2020 State of Origin pregames, with the issue confined to the indigenous-centered All Stars game.
The meeting comes just one day after Mitchell shared an impassioned tribute to his Aboriginal culture on his Instagram page.
On Wednesday, pkvgames Mitchell shared an impassioned tribute to his Aboriginal culture alongside a photo (pictured) of him wearing a T-shirt bearing the indigenous flag. A day later, the ARL Commission is expected to scrap Advance Australia Fair from the All Stars game on February 22
In a powerful photograph accompanying the message, Mitchell was pictured stood in front of a darkened sky wearing a T-shirt bearing the Aboriginal flag.
‘Being Aboriginal is not the colour of your skin or how broad your nose is,’ Mitchell wrote in the Instagram post shared on Wednesday afternoon.
‘It is a spiritual feeling – an identity you know in your heart. It is a unique feeling that is difficult for non-Aboriginals to fully understand.’
At least six indigenous players refused to sing the national anthem during last year’s State of Origin (national anthem before game one in 2019 pictured)
Last year, Mitchell suffered abuse at the hands of a troll who called him a racial slur on Facebook.
Mitchell called the troll out, saying racism had no place in Australia.
He officially left the Sydney Roosters and signed with bitter rivals Souths on January 13.
It’s understood the dual premiership winner has penned a deal for $600,000 this year and $800,000 for 2021, should the Rabbitohs exercise an option to renew his contract.
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