There are lots of reasons why an individual might not want to put their hand on their heart and heartily sing “Advance Australia Fair” at a sporting event.
One might think that the words of the song are not only trite and childish but also inaccurate and it would thus be hypocritical to boom them out.
If you were an indigenous Australian you might feel the anthem represented a colonial Australia that has treated your people badly since the first settlement rather than an inclusive one that you would wish to support.
Some people might find the observation of rituals like flag saluting and singing of an anthem childish and do not reflect how they feel about their citizenship. You might be one of those people who says “I just don’t do that stuff.”
What if you belonged to a religious group that frowned upon such overt acts of nationalistic fervour? What if you simply thought that anthems and team songs of all kinds were just a load of old bollocks?
Should you have to swallow your pride or stick your finger up at your pastor just because everyone else thinks it’s the right thing to do? Don’t we live in a place where we can hold our own beliefs without being forced into participating in what the majority thinks is a noble thing?
Anthony Mundine has said that he will not stand up for the anthem any more. Most have criticized his protest but some agree.
I am not saying that we should all follow Anthony’s example. He might have a pretty good reason to not care about the people who he would offend with his refusal to participate in the ritual. I don’t feel so inclined to want to piss everyone off, myself. But what if I don’t feel comfortable with singing out loud and proud with a straight back and a tear in the eye? Does that make me any less of an Australian? What if one of Wallabies didn’t want to stand arm in arm with his brothers, look to the skies and sing the anthem with all his might before the start of the game. Would that really make him any less worthy of wearing the gold?