News that the national anthem will not be played during this year’s State of Origin series has angered one former league great. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
News that the national anthem will not be played during this year’s State of Origin series has angered one former league great. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

'I don’t agree with it': Origin great against Anthem ban

News that the national anthem will not be played during this year's State of Origin series has angered one of Queensland's rugby league legends.

State of Origin great and Indigenous Team of the Century inductee Dale Shearer is against the anthem ban.

Dale Shearer in action during game two of 1992 State of Origin series in Sydney.
Dale Shearer in action during game two of 1992 State of Origin series in Sydney.

He believes both the Indigenous and non-Indigenous histories are worthy of celebrating during one of sports' biggest nights.

"I know what they are trying to do, I can see it both ways. I just don't know why they can't do both," Shearer said.

"Why take away one and have nothing? I don't agree with it."

Shearer, who played 26 games for Queensland between 1984 and 1996, said he was very proud of his Indigenous heritage and had no problem with singing the national anthem.

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He singled out his grandfather, who died at war fighting for Australia, as his inspiration for disagreeing with the current Indigenous players not prepared to sing the anthem.

"My pop fought under that flag, he had bullet holes in him everywhere" Shearer said.

"They went to war to give us this freedom.

"At the end of the day all them fellas all are born here."

Shearer said Australia should take a leaf out of New Zealand's book, which has been successfully celebrating both Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultures for many years.

"The maories have the haka and they sing the anthem," Shearer said.

"They pay their respects to both, why can't we?

"It becomes part of the event - everybody loves it."

The banning of the national anthem at this year's State of Origin series will be the first time it is not played in its 40-year history.


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