Indigenous All Stars captain Cody Walker wants the Australian national anthem changed to better represent Indigenous people.
Speaking after his team's 34-14 win over the Maori All Stars on what was a wonderful night for the code, Walker was asked about the subdued rendition of Advance Australia Fair at AAMI Park.
Pride on show: Indigenous players perform a traditional war cry before the All Stars clash.Credit:AAP
The New Zealand anthem was noticeably louder and Walker believes that's because Indigenous people aren't comfortable with the lyrics in the anthem.
"To be honest, no," Walker said when asked if he felt the anthem should have been played.
As a country we have to come together and make some sort of decision together.
"It just brings back so many memories from what's happened, and it's something everyone as a group and everyone in Australia needs to, I suppose, get together and work something out.
"It doesn't represent myself and my family."
Walker called for an immediate, nationwide conversation and subsequent change to the anthem but did admit he wasn't sure what a possible solution might look like.
It doesn’t represent me or my family: Cody Walker with his children after the game.Credit:AAP
"I probably don't have an answer, so we as a group need to come together and as a country we have to come together and make some sort of decision together," he said.
"I reckon that's the answer."
Walker's coach, Laurie Daley, also weighed in on the matter.
"I think it will happen but for us, tonight, it's probably not the right arena to discuss it," he said.
"I think obviously for us it's about the game and that's something we will have a chat about further down the track.
"But it is an issue that Australia is facing and tonight will be one of the reasons we have a discussion moving forward about what we do."
Sign of the times: Indigenous fans show their support at the All Star match.Credit:AAP
Two try hero Josh Addo-Carr was another who didn't sing the anthem but said that had more to do with being overwhelmed by emotion.
"I just didn't sing it because I felt too good," he said.
"I was just standing there soaking up the moment.
"It is what it is – I just stood there soaking up the moment – and nearly teared up.
"Running out, seeing our culture on the left-hand side was something special."
Andrew Fifita was on the same page as the Storm flyer.
"At the end of the day, I just sing it proudly," he said. "That's our anthem, so I sing it proudly."
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