ANTHONY Mundine says he won’t stand for the Australian national anthem if it’s played before his fight against Jeff Horn next month as he credited the Queensland native’s “white privilege” for his rising popularity.
Mundine refused to stand for the anthem before his loss to Danny Green in January last year in protest against injustice towards indigenous Australians and he’s prepared to do it again in Brisbane on November 30.
The 43-year-old became emotional speaking to reporters after a workout at his father Tony’s Sydney gym as he reflected on what the anthem means to him and all Aborigines.
“They’re talking about playing the anthem. If they play the anthem I’m sitting down,” Mundine said. “I can’t stand for that, it’s a white supremacist song.
“The fight, the plight, the struggle, the constant everyday injustice of indigenous people. It’s got to stop.
“We’re getting raped and pillaged in different ways.
“I’m not going to stand for that anthem. I don’t care when it’s played, I don’t want it to be played before I come out. If it is played and they go on about it … I’m sitting down.”
The former NRL star has regularly pointed to his indigenous heritage as the reason he didn’t play more representative football and he said Horn — who became a national hero after upsetting boxing legend Manny Pacquiao in 2017 — has only been put on a pedestal because of the colour of his skin.
Horn claimed the WBO welterweight title by overcoming the Filipino at Suncorp Stadium last July before losing his strap to American Terence Crawford in Las Vegas in June.
He’ll enjoy the backing of a home crowd keen to see him start on the right foot as he launches a bid for another title charge, but Mundine says there’s more to his popularity than just winning over the public with his story of the bullied school kid who became a world champion.
“He’s got that privilege, man. You all know what privilege I’m talking about. He’s got that privilege,” Mundine said. “I’ve never had that privilege. Not many people did, but he’s got that privilege.
“I’m fighting against that more than anything. I’m fighting for equality and justice.
“He’s got that white man privilege. He’s got that white privilege that allows him to have that privilege he does. He jagged one good fight.”
Mundine grew emotional as he lamented why he hasn’t been shown the same love despite excelling in a professional career that’s spanned two sports and more than two decades, and the bravado made way for a plea of recognition.
“Everything that I’ve achieved man, look at it, look at it what I’ve done, for real man,” he said. “Look at what I’ve achieved in my life, in my sport and what adversity I had to go through to get (to where I am).”
But while the former St George five-eighth briefly showed his softer side he also dished out verbal barbs as he issued a blunt warning for Horn.
Mundine strutted around the ring, taking breaks from hitting the pads to taunt his opponent, looking into the half dozen TV cameras around to remind Australia: “I’m about to rock ’em and shock ’em again.
“I do feel disrespected and he (Horn) is going to face the brunt of that, he’s going to feel the wrath of that.
“I feel sorry for Jeff, he’s the one that’s going to have to cop the hits. I’m going to cut him up, I’m going to cut him real good, just like a watermelon. Cut him up real good, then I’m gonna eat him.
“I’m gonna bust him up. I’m quicker, I’m bigger, I’m stronger.”
Mundine said he’s having to cut out sugar — especially chocolate and soft drinks — to ensure he trims enough kilos to make weight for the 71kg catchweight bout and hit back at accusations by Team Horn he was looking for a way out of promoting the bout by training overseas.
Mundine was in America until recently but said he flew back home because he felt more comfortable preparing for the fight Down Under.