Mundine sorry for comments but says national anthem needs to change
Mundine sorry for comments but says national anthem needs to change

Anthony Mundine has apologised for his incendiary comments regarding Tasmanian Aborigines but stopped short of saying sorry for causing offence to rival boxer Daniel Geale.

Speaking in Redfern in Sydney on Friday, Mundine said his comments weren't intended to cause harm.

"I'd like to apologise if my comments have offended some Aborigines in Tasmania," Mundine said.

"I know there are a lot of Aborigines in Tasmania that are proud of their heritage just like me.

"My comments weren't directed at anybody but the system that in my opinion doesn't reflect the first, second or third generation Aboriginals."

"There are people who get jobs and are claiming benefits who claim to be Aboriginal because they have a great, great, great, great grandmother or grandfather, and that's it.

"The system needs to accommodate those Aboriginals that need it most instead of trying to cater for everyone."

Mundine went on to accuse Australia of gross intolerance, and labelled the national anthem a 'theme song' of the White Australia policy.

"I think the anthem needs to be changed. It was the theme song for the White Australia Policy," Mundine said.

"Everyone that comes here and a lot of my close friends and family members, we feel Australia is one of the most racist countries here."

"I want to move forward, I want to unite the people, I want to move forward as one as all Australian."

"We've never had any representation on the flag, I can't fly it, and I want to fly it for the Australian people."

At Thursday's media conference to announce a rematch with Geale, the 37-year-old drew widespread condemnation for questioning Tasmanian-born Geale's Aboriginal heritage.

"I thought they wiped all the Aborigines from Tasmania out, that's all I know," Mundine said.

"I don't see him representing us black people or coloured people. I don't see him out in the community doing what I do with people.

"He's got a white woman, white kids."

Mundine said he hoped this latest controversy could be a spark for change in the way Aborigines were treated in the wider community.

Mundine also said he hoped Australia would adopt a new anthem and national flag.

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