Cody Walker says he will not sing the Australian national anthem before the State of Origin opener on June 5.
At the beginning of the year, Walker stayed silent before the Indigenous All Stars game and will not change his stance before one of the biggest games of the year.
“I’m not pushing my views on anyone, it’s just how me and my family have grown up and how I feel. I’ve already voiced my opinion, and I want to reiterate it’s just my opinion,” the 29-year-old told the Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday.
NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler claimed it was completely up to Walker if he is to say silent during the anthem, but Fittler said he’ll “be singing it.”
Walker was well supported by Johnathan Thurston, with the Queenslander disappointed in the response to the previous stand.
“The stand the team took on not singing the national anthem … it was like it was just brushed over,” Thurston said in an interview with the Herald.
“They did that and there wasn’t really any discussion to come out of that, even though it was a stand they took for themselves and their family.
“I thought it was great leadership by the team. Cody Walker came out after the game and said the national anthem doesn’t represent him or his family. We made a decision based on that and that was pretty much the end of it. I can’t remember anyone from the game coming out and having a further discussion about it.”
Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga also supported further discussion after the All Stars game in February.
“We expect them to sing the national anthem, but I’m also in favour of the fact, if it is offensive to Indigenous Australians, let’s have a discussion about it.
“We’re a multicultural society, so all of Australia should decide on what our anthem should be. The majority of us are third- and fourth-generation Australians now. What does contemporary Australia want? If it’s important to people, why not call for a referendum?”