Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who last year used cricket as a political tool during the country’s historically disastrous bushfires, has taken time out of his busy schedule to suggest cricket stop being so political.
Morrison, who has refused to lecture ex-President Donald Trump after he incited his followers to storm the US Capitol, and has refused to lecture his own LNP MPs for wantonly spreading conspiracy theories and misinformation, has today lectured Cricket Australia over their plans for to acknowledge First Nations people on January 26th.
Cricket Australia this morning announced a plan to remove all mentions of the phrase “Australia Day” in its promotional material for the Big Bash League, which has three games scheduled for January 26. In addition, three of the sides participating on the day – the Sydney Thunder, Melbourne Renegades, and Perth Scorchers – will wear Indigenous-themed jerseys in a bid to promote conversation around the history of the date, and to create a “safe and inclusive environment for everybody.”
Morrison, who spent New Year’s Day 2020 entertaining the Australian and New Zealand men’s cricket teams at Kirribilli House while large tracts of the country burned, has today chided Cricket Australia for making a political decision.
In a radio appearance on 4RO in Rockhampton, Morrison stated that he thought the decision was “pretty ordinary,” in what’s easily the strongest stance he’s taken on anything in well over a year.
“I think a bit more focus on cricket, and a little less focus on politics would be my message to Cricket Australia. I think that’s pretty ordinary – that’s what they’re putting on their press releases – that would be my view,” Morrison said.
It stands as yet another instance of conservative figures chiding sport – which has always been an inherently political pastime due to its theoretical level playing field and normalisation of inclusivity – for being “political” purely because the political decision doesn’t line up with what they want.
If this is what Morrison, the Prime Minister, wants to arc up about, particularly when he won’t say shit about a right-wing invasion of the US Capitol and refuses to speak ill of his own dipshit party members, then that’s a problem.
Perhaps it’s Morrison who should keep sport out of politics.