‘We have to change it’: Addo-Carr joins Walker in anthem solidarity
NSW winger Josh Addo-Carr has joined Blues teammate Cody Walker in vowing not to sing the Australian national anthem before next Wednesday's first State of Origin match in Brisbane, saying it does not represent the country's Indigenous people.
New NSW five-eighth Walker will stand silently when Advance Australia Fair is played before a sold-out Suncorp Stadium and Addo-Carr said on Wednesday he would proudly do the same.
"I respect what he said," Addo-Carr said of Walker. "We are Australians too. Indigenous people were the first people here, on the land.
"I have full support of Codys decision and I will be behind him all the way."
Addo-Carr was part of the same Indigenous All Stars team as Walker in February when the South Sydney playmaker stayed silent as the national anthem played before their win over the Maori All Stars at AAMI Park.
Asked about the stance taken by Walker at the time Addo-Carr didn't wish to comment in any great detail.
However, in the months since that match, he has given Walker's position greater thought.
Addo-Carr believes a national conversation must be had to immediately address the lack of representation for Indigenous people in the Australian anthem.
"The anthem doesnt represent us as Indigenous people," he said. "We have to change it."
The Melbourne Storm flyer also revealed he hadn't taken part in singing the anthem since leaving school, questioning why he should do so when it did not represent his Indigenous roots.
"Ive forgotten how to sing it. I havent been to school in about 10 years. I hardly sing it anyway," he said.
"I am a proud Australian man but a proud Indigenous man, too. If its not going to stand for my people, why should I sing it?"
Addo-Carr's comments come as Walker reiterated his stance on the anthem in an interview with the Herald.
The 29-year-old's comments were supported by Indigenous league legend Johnathan Thurston, who was both surprised by the lack of discussion Walker's stand in February generated.
Addo-Carr also questioned why a change hadn't been made to better represent Indigenous people in Advance Australia Fair.
"We're Australians too. Why can't we recognise the indigenous people of Australia?" he asked.
"How hard can it be?"
Addo-Carr, meanwhile, weighed into Queensland coach Kevin Walters' bizarre decision to ban any mention of NSW in the Maroons camp this week.
Queensland forward Jai Arrow wouldn't even say the word "blue" when asked what colour his eyes were on Wednesday.