SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 27: Cody Walker speaks to the media during a New South Wales Blues State of Origin media opportunity at North Bondi Surf Club on May 27, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

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?”


  1. This crap has to be sorted out. What part of the anthem doesn’t apply? I mean it does say Australians ALL, doesn’t it? Unless he isn’t Australian? Maybe they could look at either changing the anthem to include indigenous, OR adding an indigenous rendition as similar to the kiwis who are happy with their anthem by singing in English & maori.

  2. It’s pretty simple, don’t sing it. Do want you want but don’t put it all over the media. Just creates drama which isn’t needed. He is supposed to be concentrating on origin not a national anthem ffs.

  3. “Im not pushing my views on anyone” ….. GOOD. Then stay silent and stop pushing your barrow through the media jerk.

  4. This politically correct rubbish has no place in sport. Just focuss on what your paid to do and play.

  5. It’s up to him at the end of the day if he doesn’t want to sing it. Just focus on the game ahead tho 🤷

  6. Whilst I’d admit it’s a very small sample group, but reading the comments above about the “not singing the national anthem (protest)”, started in the indigenous all stars game, has united Australians, to the extent that supporters from all clubs (represented in this forum thus far), have agreed, RL is a sport, not a political agenda.
    That said, and whilst we’re on the subject, I found out a few years ago my Great, Great, Grandmother was indigenous, so should I be “protesting” too? I’m assuming the answer’s yes, given all 17 of the indigenous all stars find the anthem offensive, but this is new territory for me.

  7. Fully agree, this is absolute rubbish.

    There are probably more Australians now who can trace their history back to England than there are Indigenous people so perhaps the vote ought to include going back to “God Save the Queen”, after all we are a common wealth country aren’t we ?

    Its this political correct rubbish that has undermined a whole lot of what it means to be Australian. We are so busy acknowledging who a land once belonged too that we lose sight of the fact that the land originally belonged to no one not even Aboriginals.

    I am not racist in the least but not being racist means not referencing one person over another based on race. What Cody is saying is that I have more right to have an anthem that specifically refers to me than any other Australian – now who is being racist ?

    Australia is for all Australians no matter where they came from and the current anthem reflects that.

  8. Agree, I don’t agree with him pushing his views nor with changing the anthem but if he doesn’t want to sing it then that is his affair.

    As for brushing the protest under the table, perhaps that is where it ought to be.

  9. Im a huge Cody Walker fan…as a footballer not a political pundit espousing racist views. Im Australian. My great grandfather was irish and my great great grand father on the other side was german. Who cares. Im a bloke doing my best to be the kind of man I admire. If we follow this line of reasoning espoused by midnight oil as vocal but stupid children (lets give it back) we basically all end up living in Neanderthal caves somewhere. Everyone else has said it all. If your an aussie then that’s what you are regardless of how you got here. Isnt that the whole point of Australia and having a fair go for all.

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