Anthony Mundine re-examined his critique of Advance Australia Fair after an Indigenous-themed rendition at the Wallabies Test prompted a renewed debate across the country.
Indigenous-themed version of the national anthem before the Wallabies, Olivia Fox, a girl wearing a First Nations shirt, played Argentina on Saturday night.
The Eora-language revision contributed to calls for an indigenous anthem to become a permanent staple for international sporting competitions involving Australian representative teams.
But Latrell Mitchell, the current NRL star, led the charge against such a scheme.
“When will people understand that changing it to language doesn’t change the meaning!” he wrote on Instagram.
Mitchell’s statement against the wrong lyrics-such as “young and free”-was strongly endorsed by Mundine on Monday.
“For me, bro, how can I put it? It’s like kicking someone when they’re down,” Mundine told News Corp.
“The message of the anthem is wrong. It was putting salt into the wound for Aboriginal men.
“If they want to change things then actually change the words of the anthem. But you can’t just sing the same original text in Aboriginal language and think it’s going to fly with people.
“(The Wallabies’ rendition) got people talking but it still ain’t the right message. It looks good and sounded good when the Wallabies sang it and it looks like they’re giving back – but they’re not really giving back.
“The original anthem is racially driven from its inception and now they want to do it in Aboriginal language – two wrongs don’t make it right. The anthem is the theme song for the white Australian policy.”
“I think it was a good touch by the Wallabies and there are a lot of Indigenous people happy with that,” Renouf said.
“Good on the ARU (rugby officials), they didn’t have to do it.”
Indigenous singers have also been engaged by the NRL to perform anthem in their language in the past.