A petition has been launched in a bid to stop US rapper Macklemore from performing the song “Same Love” at the NRL Grand Final this weekend.
It was recently announced Macklemore will perform the chart-topping marriage equality song Same Love as part of his set at the Grand Final at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Sunday.
But a Change.org petition has been started by ex-NRL player Tony Wall demanding the NRL take a neutral stance on the issue and that the song not be performed.
He wrote that the NRL had taken a “bold political stance” and his family would feel “uncomfortable” at the footy.
“As a No voter it will be very difficult to watch the NRL Grand Final with my wife and five young children as the event will be heavily politicised with a LGBTIQ anthem taking centre stage,” he wrote.
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott also weighed in, tweeting: “Footy fans shouldn’t be subjected to a politicised grand final. Sport is sport!”
Footy fans shouldn’t be subjected to a politicised grand final. Sport is sport! https://t.co/1uRh4eZ61Z
— Tony Abbott (@TonyAbbottMHR) September 27, 2017
But Attorney-General George Brandis said the outburst was “bizarre,” telling the ABC: “It is one of his most popular songs and for Mr Abbott and anyone else to say that it should be banned I think is a bizarre thing to say. I thought Mr Abbott believed in freedom of speech.”
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg stood by the decision, telling radio station 2GB: “We’re an inclusive game and whilst everyone will stand for their own issues and make their own decisions, we’re very comfortable with where we sit.”
When word of the controversy reached Macklemore, he told US radio show The Cruz Show he was going to “go harder” and “love” during his performance, despite “getting a lot of tweets from angry old white dudes in Australia.”
Singer Mary Lambert, who features on the track, tweeted last week that she’s “so excited” to reunite with the rapper to perform the song.
— Mary Lambert (@marylambertsing) September 22, 2017
Others are loving Macklemore’s spot on the lineup.
Same Love by Macklemore would have changed my life in Year 7. Love that kids watching NRL Grand Final with their dads will see it, hear it.
— Samuel Leighton-Dore (@SamLeightonDore) September 27, 2017
Im sick of the Sports and Politics dont mix hot takes. They do. Sport had driven change in society for years.
— scott hunt (@IamNotJonahHill) September 26, 2017
Oh sure Macklemore totally shouldn’t sing a song that went to no.1 in the Australian charts. Trying to limit freedom of speech much! 🙄
— Dale Roberts (@ozdale) September 27, 2017
Lmao are people really mad that macklemore is gonna perform same love at the NRL grand final like grow up it’s one of his biggest songs???
— amber (@queenwitchiepoo) September 26, 2017
I suppose the “keep politics out of sport” crowd wouldn’t have supported boycotting apartheid South Africa either
— Rob Stott (@Rob_Stott) September 27, 2017
The Grand Final will be screened on Channel Nine from 6.30pm on Sunday, October 1.
Last week, the AFL changed the logo on their Melbourne headquarters to “Yes” for 24 hours to show support for marriage equality.
Give Macklemore’s “Same Love” another listen below: