Great Australian boxer Anthony Mundine gave his support to Cricket Australia’s decision to remove ‘Australia Day’ referencing from three Big Bash League games scheduled for January 26.
The Sydney Thunder, Perth Scorchers and Melbourne Renegades will wear Indigenous jerseys, with games featuring a barefoot circle, a welcome to the country ceremony and a smoking ceremony to try and spark more conversations around First Nations people.
Cricket Australia’s move was frowned upon by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who called the move “ordinary”.
Responding to the Prime Minister’s criticism, Mundine said Australia Day reminded him of “bloodshed and genocide is raging”, while supporting Cricket Australia’s decision to reject any reference to the occasion.
“It was a great initiative from Cricket Australia and what they wanted to do, but for ScoMo to rebel against that – it shows you where the country is at,” Mundine told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“You have to make your story, search for the anthem, search for the flag, on Australia Day… that day blood was shed and genocide raged.
“We need to change the date and have a day when we can celebrate the new Australia and move forward rather than the old Australia and the dark past.”
Another top athlete to speak out against the Prime Minister’s comments was Indigenous cricketer Dan Christian.
The Sydney Sixers star took to social media on Friday, lashing out at Morrison and his government for failing to “lead the way” in the fight against racism.
“Read the room, Prime Minister,” Christian tweeted.
“Cricket Australia is leading the way because your government will not.
“There will be millions of kids watching our BBL games on January 26th, and they’ll see us take a knee against racism and promote inclusion for all. Take note.” “