NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 06: Paul Gallen, Cooper Cronk and Johnathan Thurston of the Kangaroos sing the national anthem during the International Rugby League Trans Tasman Test match between the Australian Kangaroos and the New Zealand Kiwis at Hunter Stadium on May 6, 2016 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Dean Ritchie Anthem Tweet

Yep, it's that time of year again. [Insert former player name] has come out and claimed [rehashed semi-jingoistic trope].

Australians have been recently sparked into opportunities to present race-based opinions online, and so it is obviously high time to cash in on all of that pent-up angst.

It often happens towards the end of the year, when the weather gets warmer, the beer gets colder and there's plenty of International sport on the telly.

Inevitably, someone notices when a player isn't singing the National Anthem, and immediately attributes the refusal to some kind of deep resentment of country, or a refusal to participate in assimilation.

Quick! To the keyboard!

This time, the wave-leading article appears to be based on comments made by former Australian Test Captain, Max Krilich.

The article doesn't appear to seek comment from anyone who disagrees with Max.

“If you don't want to sing the anthem then don't play for the Kangaroos," sprayed Krilich.

“It embarrasses me when they stand there staring like stunned mullets during the national anthem." he went on.

“If I was involved in the selection of the team, I'd certainly be calling them together and telling them that singing the anthem is something you should do.” agreed former ARL chairman Ken Arthurson.

Premiership-winner and media personality Peter Peters was also asked to inject his opinion, of course. “I'm sick and tired of seeing players zip their mouth in the national anthem," he thundered.

Interestingly, a clip has surfaced during the week appearing to show Max Krilich and his 1982 Test teammates standing silent during the Australian National Anthem.

https://x.com/thtBLACKness/status/1714585350264545291?s=20

But if you care, it's possible that you've been caught up in the flag-waving ultra-patriotism that the USA is well-known for.

You might be at the game, or watching it on TV. You might even be a player in the game. Isn't that enough of a sign that you're emotionally invested?

There are many reasons as to why the anthem isn't sung. It could definitely be that a player who doesn't sing may not feel that the anthem represents them, but it could also be that they are instead, intently focused on the match that's about to start, as Max Krilich and his teammates seem to be in the above clip.

Many in the crowd don't sing the anthem either, and that could even have something to do with being self-conscious about their singing voice. Who would know unless we asked every single person, as though it was even remotely important?

But one thing should be known: if a player truly wanted to disrespect the anthem, they'd walk away from their team huddle and turn their back on the ceremony. To date, that has not been done by any Australian rugby league player, regardless of their heritage.

Players are chosen to represent their country, often not just on their ability but on their on-field and off-field characteristics of a team-first mentality.

With an NRL competition brimming with talent, making these team selections is an incredibly challenging task for the Test Selection committee and coach Mal Meninga, who himself has South Sea Island heritage on his father's side.

There appears to be no revolt within the team with regard to personality, commitment to the team, commitment to the emblem and commitment to work hard for one another.

To suggest that anyone should be cut from the team because they're not breaking out in song is absolutely ridiculous.