Anthony Mundine has defended his decision not to sing the national anthem ahead of Wednesday’s IBF middleweight title bout against Daniel Geale, reports Fairfax.
"The truth is, that anthem was composed in the 1800s when Aborigines were considered fauna," 37-year-old Mundine said.
"From 1901 to 1973 there was a White Australia Policy to make Australia white, and guess what the theme song of that policy was - Advance Australia Fair. So what are they really singing? Advance Australia White."
Despite being composed in 1878, a revised version of Advance Australia Fair only became the nation’s official anthem in 1984, replacing God Save the Queen.
Since the Mundine/Geale bout was announced pre-fight hype has centred around the racially-fuelled, heated exchange of words between the two boxers.
Back in October 2012, Mundine fended off criticism after he questioned Geale’s Aboriginal heritage, and in a bizarre case of reverse racism, also launched a verbal tirade which targeted Geale’s wife and children.
Mundine’s refusal to sing the national anthem is the latest chapter in the former rugby league star’s often controversial crusade to inform the public of Indigenous issues.
"I don't mean to incite any racism or anything like that. I am just trying to make people aware and educate them, because most of them don't know the story," Mundine said.
"I want something that represents all Australians, not just something that represents the white Australia, which back in those days was very racist. There is still racism today but let's try to breed it out and move forward."