Rugby League legend and Indigenous Australian Johnathan Thurston‘s Acknowledgement of Country was rudely interrupted by the national anthem during the NRL Grand Final tonight, and people aren’t happy.
Minutes before the game was due to commence, Johnathan Thurston stood in front of the large crowd and began saying the Acknowledgement of Country. However, while he was speaking the instrumental opening of the national anthem began blasting over the speakers — and he was essentially played off.
Many have taken to Twitter to express their disappointment including rapper and activist Briggs.
“The national anthem cutting off the acknowledgement of country is an ironic ode to our history,” Briggs wrote on Twitter.
the national anthem cutting off the acknowledgment of country is an ironic ode to our history. ????— Senator Briggs (@Briggs) October 3, 2021
Pretty atrocious to allow the Australian national anthem to cut off Jonathan Thurston’s acknowledgement of country at the #NRLGF— Max Walden (@maxwalden_) October 3, 2021
Wow. Cutting off the acknowledgement of country to play the national anthem. How fucking disrespectful.— Ella ???? (@elllamoroney) October 3, 2021
Some viewers at home also noticed Rabbitohs player Cody Walker‘s evident range when they started playing the anthem over the Acknowledgement of Country.
The anthem kicking in before the Acknowledgement of Country finished was fucked. Dagger eyes at the stage from Cody Walker and reasonable numbers staunching-out the anthem across both Bunnies and Panthers a nice push back.— Padraic Gibson (@paddygibson) October 3, 2021
It’s extremely disappointing that this was allowed to happen and even worse wasn’t immediately rectified by the NRL. It also appears that the NRL have not made a statement about the incident at this stage, so let’s hope they issue a formal apology tomorrow.
The Penrith Panthers defeated the South Sydney Rabbitohs 14 – 12 at tonight’s NRL Grand Final, with Nathan Cleary crowned the Clive Churchill medallist.