As the furore over Anthony Mundine's decision to boycott the Australian anthem continues, Danny Green has taken to social media to express his solidarity with Australia's First People.
"I have been raised to acknowledge and respect the original landowners. Always have always will," he wrote alongside a picture of himself with a First Australian man and his child, adding:
"I always appreciate the support I get from the indigenous community. The bush telegraph talks fast and wide, and those people know my attitude and beliefs."
His opponent, Anthony Mundine, who is a First Australian, has promised to boycott the national anthem during Friday night's much anticipated rematch with Green, claiming the song is "racist" and does not acknowledge the original landowners.
"Do your research on the anthem, do your research on 'Advance, we're young and free.' We are far from young. And a lot of us ain't free," he said.
"Advance Australia Fair, you speak to your historians and educated college professors, it's there as in white fair, not in fair go."
"The flagship for the country is the flag and the anthem. They are iconic symbols. So let's start by changing them and bringing the first-nation people, the traditional owners, with us," he said.
Mundine is famous for using his profile in big sporting events to raise awareness about his people's plight. First Australians continue to suffer from an infant mortality rate more than twice that of non-Indigenous children; a death rate five times that of non-Indigenous Australians; and an incarceration rate among juveniles 24 times that of non-indigenous Australians and 15 times among adults.
That is without mentioning the inter-generational trauma suffered during the Stolen Generation, in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were stolen from their parents and placed in white Christian boarding schools (Mundine's grandparents were part of the Stolen Generation). Earlier this week news of a historical documentary by Australian filmmaker, Phillip Rang, also revealed how First Australians were stolen from their families and forced to tour the world as part of a "human zoo."
Such stands often make Mundine the target of racism and white nationalist groups, who are quick to throw their support behind the the Irish-heritaged, Green. But Green wants the world to know he is about togetherness and solidarity first.
"Mundine won't stand for the anthem before the fight and that is totally his choice. Doesn't affect me. He is allowed his choices and opinion. One thing I do however despise is people trying to cause division in our communities. I only give a shit about being good to people," he wrote.
Mundine's planned anthem boycott has put fight organisers in a bind. They are still deciding whether to avoid controversy all together by playing the song before the fighters arrive in the ring. As of today the anthem will still be played with both fighters in the ring. It will also be sung by First Australian songstress, Jessica Mauboy, though Mundine says that is just a token gesture to curry favour.
"I like Jessica but it's not for our people. They are just using her because she is black," Mundine told the Daily Telegraph.