I get it. Click-bait headlines do just that. Get the clicks.
Look I’m new to writing, and I’m no expert but the recent online drama regarding the national anthem at the Indigenous v Maori All Star game really opened up my eyes at how the media really just want to create division and scandal themselves, instead of reporting on it.
I first want to put out the exact transcript from the press conference after the game, where a reporter asked Indigenous Captain Cody Walker about the online chatter about some players not singing the Anthem.
Reporter: “Cody, there’s a bit on twitter about not many people wanting to sing the national anthem, how did you feel when not singing it, did it feel right, or didn’t feel right?”
Walker: “To be honest, no, it just brings back so many memories from what’s happened, and it’s something everyone as a group and everyone in Australia needs to, I suppose, get together and work something out. It doesn’t represent myself and my family.”
Reporter: “There’s a lot of pride in that multi anthem, people are singing it and you could definitely here the change in volume when the Australian anthem came out, would it be something you would like, an Australian anthem maybe in an indigenous language, but there is so many, do you have an answer?”
Walker: “I don’t have the answer, but we as a group probably need to come together and as a country we need to come together and make some sort of decision together”
He wasn’t being divisive with his answers. In fact he was being inclusive. He took that opportunity to voice his opinion, and called for a discussion that is relevant to himself, his people, and his culture. He was asked a direct question which he answered open and honestly. Just like a leader should. He didn’t protest before the game, on the ground, during the anthem, or during or even after the game.
Now the media would have you believe that this was some sort of “pre-planned silent protest”. Obviously someone forgot to tell Will Chambers, Chris Smith, Andrew Fifita, David Fifita, Josh Kerr, Alex Johnston, and Adam Elliott who were all seen on video mouthing the words.
Also forgot to tell Josh Addo-Carr who had this to say afterwards: “I just didn’t sing it because I felt too good, I was just standing there soaking up the moment. It is what it is, I just stood there soaking up the moment and nearly teared up.”
The media using terms like “Hijacking the Anthem”, “Walker takes Aim at the anthem” and using Walker’s answers out of context like smh.com.au did with his answer being linked to whether he wanted to stand for the anthem (Which has now been rectified) is irresponsible.
A protest wasn’t planned. Some players did what so many players, black white and fluro green skinned, have done before. They chose not to sing. And the media chose to fuel the fire of the offended twittersphere.
Fact is, it was a nothing story. It happens all the time. Just the racists felt it was a good time to unleash.