Storm and Cowboys fans aren’t the only ones clashing ahead of Sunday night’s NRL Grand Final. The big decider has also sparked an ideological battle on same-sex marriage.
In a ballsy move, not only has the NRL publicly backed the ‘Yes’ vote, the code has also recruited rapper Macklemore to headline this year’s blockbuster pre-game show, which will include a performance of his marriage equality anthem ‘Same Love’.
As expected, this powerful demonstration of support for SSM on one of Australia’s biggest stages at such a critical time for the country has sparked a storm of outrage from the ‘No’ movement, with ex-NRL player Tony Wall starting a petition on Change.org demanding the song be banned from the GF and that “LGBTIQ politics [be] taken out of the NRL”.
“It will be very difficult to watch the NRL Grand Final with my wife and five young children as the event will be heavily politicised with a LGBTIQ anthem taking centre stage,” Wall — who played 10 games for the Western Suburbs Magpies back in 1995 — bellyaches.
“My family and many other loyal NRL fans, who are No voters, will not feel comfortable watching the Grand Final when the NRL is imposing such a bold political stance on its fans while the issue is currently being voted on by the Australian people.
“Join with me in voicing your concern and demand that the NRL take a neutral position on the question of same-sex marriage.”
He’s vowed to slap NRL boss Todd Greenberg with the petition in a bid to have the song scrapped from Macklemore’s Grand Final playlist.
Meanwhile, former P-M and serial gum flapper Tony Abbott has also tweeted his support for the petition, arguing “Sport is sport!”
Footy fans shouldn’t be subjected to a politicised grand final. Sport is sport! https://t.co/1uRh4eZ61Z
— Tony Abbott (@TonyAbbottMHR) September 27, 2017
… And he’s immediately been forced to supplement his usual diet of raw onions with a hot serving of HIS OWN WORDS.
great point toney pic.twitter.com/WrNYHpRXOZ
— the result respecter (@rpy) September 27, 2017
I can haz football? pic.twitter.com/pzg6iu3eGl
— Jerry (@jeremy_h1981) September 27, 2017
YEAH. Sport shouldn’t be politicised. pic.twitter.com/okp8KZWqKh
— Mikey Nicholson (@Mikey_Nicholson) September 27, 2017
Tony Abbott: SPORT AND POLITICS SHOULD NEVER MIX
Also Tony Abbott: pic.twitter.com/btcSUmHOdy
— Amy Coopes (@coopesdetat) September 27, 2017
here’s me at panther park, making a major policy announcement just before an election, thinking about how politics should stay out of sport pic.twitter.com/2MlKd1Tw6O
— Colley (@JamColley) September 27, 2017
Meanwhile, despite Mack being accused of politicising Grand Final Day by performing ‘Same Love’, the code has been quick to point out that the song was also a bonafide hit down under, shooting to number #1 on the ARIA charts when it was released back in 2012.
He is actually singing all his biggest hits – as his fans would expect.
— NRL Media (@NRLMedia) September 27, 2017
— cameron adams (@cameron_adams) September 27, 2017
While others have jumped in to point out that sport has actually provided the backdrop for some hugely important political moments in history, and Macklemore singing ‘Same Love’ could indeed be another one.
Sport is sport and it transcends politics, it’s what you’re afraid of pic.twitter.com/m6tGUsp5OP
— Mitch Jennings (@Mitch_Jenno) September 27, 2017
sport can do wonders… pic.twitter.com/q05lDp2KJn
— Kevin Cooper (@MrCooper5000) September 27, 2017
Same Love by Macklemore would have changed my life in Year 7. Love that kids watching NRL Grand Final with their dads will see it, hear it.
— Samuel Leighton-Dore (@SamLeightonDore) September 27, 2017
It seems like it’s been a day of backlash for poor ol’ Macklemore, because ‘No’ voters aren’t the only ones currently pissed at him.
The North Queensland Cowboys are also feeling dirty at the Mack Attack for forcing them to shift their Captain’s Run from ANZ Stadium to Kogarah on Grand Final Day to accommodate his rehearsal for the pre-game show.
We still love you all the same, Mack Daddy.