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Buddy labels Mundine anthem plan 'stupid'

AAP logoAAP 30/09/2016 By Tom Rabe

Sydney Swans superstar Lance Franklin has dismissed boxer Anthony Mundine's calls to boycott the national anthem at Saturday's AFL grand final as 'stupid'.

The outspoken boxing champion called on players from both the AFL and NRL to boycott the anthem this weekend at a press conference on Friday where he also floated his future political aspirations.

"I just want to educate the people, the Australian anthem was written at a time where Aboriginal people weren't even considered human beings," Mundine said.

Franklin, who is indigenous, said he thought the idea was stupid and there was "no chance" he would do it.

"Personally I think it's pretty stupid really. It's the Australian national anthem, it's a part of our sport, our history," he said.

Mundine's plan was inspired by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who kneels during the US national anthem before NFL games to protest against racism and police brutality.

Mundine said he didn't want to pressure any players involved in either grand final, but said Franklin was thinking about the AFL, not his people.

"He's thinking for the system and not thinking for his people and his heritage and his ancestry and the dark history of what happened to his people."

"I'm a militant brother, I can't speak for Lance, I can't speak for anyone else."

The 41-year-old professional boxer and former rugby league player said he was not trying to incite violence or division, but wanted to educate the Australian public about indigenous recognition.

He said he decided not to contact any NRL or AFL grand final players with his anthem plan, because he didn't want to pressure anyone.

"If they want to do it, it's in their heart," Mundine said.

Mundine said he was considering a move into politics as an independent after his boxing career was over.

"Yeah maybe I think I will," Mundine said from the Redfern Gym in inner Sydney.

"In order to make change you need powerful people with big-arse kahunas to step in and not be persuaded by the system."

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