former 49er’s player Colin Kaepernick leads a knee at the US national anthem
Will Indigenous players take a knee?
Should players in the NRL and the AFL grand finals take a knee when the Australian national anthem is played this week?
In the US, the knee is taken by players, led by Coling Kaepernick, formerly of the San Franciso 49ers, to protest the police brutality dealt out by police all over the US, which is also a factor in Australia.
Over 30% of Indigenous Australians males are in custody. There is increasing funding for the incarceration of Indigenous males and females, our children too in the past 20 years than there has been for Indigenous operated programs.
What would be the result if an Indigenous player took the knee?
Would the Prime Minister condemn him and also ask him to be fired, as Trump did in America?
Would an AFL or NRL player risk being fired as a result by the club or the competition itself like Colin Kaepernick has?
Australia needs to have a debate on the amount of Indigenous people still in custody and why. An Aboriginal man died in custody this week, one of almost 100 in NSW since the 1989 Aboriginal Deaths in Custody Royal Commission. He died in suspicious circumstances at Tamworth Correctional Facility last week. Tane Chatfield was a 22 year old father with his life ahead of him.
On his sisters Facebook page (Jody Pitt):
“My brother had passed away under very suspicious circumstances & in his own way has left a lot of indications that his death was not in vein nor was it self inflicted. From the information we could gather Tane was yet another victim of BLACK DEATH IN CUSTODY – which would then try & be obscured as a suicide.
Now why my family grieves the sudden & unexpected death of my brother we also have to fight the corruption amongst the justice system & hope & pray we can get an answer not only to find peace but peace for him. This all happened while he was under the care of the TAMWORTH CORRECTIONAL FACILITY & we will not get rest until we get the justice for our brother that he deserves.”
We still await the Deaths In Custody Royal Commissions recommendations implementation.
We now have a rise of 35% of Indigenous men in gaol since the Coalition came into power in NSW in 2011. Its a growing epidemic. Nothing heard or done by the various state governments in Australia to combat this disgraceful inaction.
So will we see a knee taken by an AFL or NRL player?
What other action can we take as individuals to prevent more deaths or is it another persons problem, another family and another time to do something about it?
We need a Kaepernick. We need a leader and warrior.
Importantly, let’s see if the NSW Aboriginal Knockout players all stand while the Australian national anthem is played.