UPDATED: Rainbow Flags Have Not Been Banned From From Today's NRL Grand Final
UPDATE: Nine reports that News Corp's original claims of rainbow flags being banned at the grand final were inaccurate. The NRL has since issued a statement to the TV news network saying:
“Rainbow flags have not been banned. If they exceed the size requirement or include content deemed offensive (swear words etc), they would not be allowed.”
ORIGINAL STORY: It's a big day for sports fans across Australia & NZ, with the NRL grand final set to go down in Sydney (we hear some cowboys are fighting a storm or something).
And ICYMI: the sporting event's already gotten itself pretty mixed up in Australia's unfolding marriage equality debate. Firstly, because -- like MTV -- the NRL has publicly and proudly backed the 'Yes' campaign (go, team!). And secondly, because today's pre-game show performer Macklemore has declared that he'll be perfoming his SSM anthem and #1 hit 'Same Love' in front of the hundreds of thousands -- if not millions -- of fans who'll be watching from the ANZ stadium grandstand and tuning into the event on the tele, in a powerful show of support for the LGBTQ+ community.
Despite the song being a number #1 hit in Australia, 'No' campaigners including former PM Tony Abbott have been bellyaching about Mack performing it, and have been petitioning the NRL to ban it from his setlist!!
Footy fans shouldn't be subjected to a politicised grand final. Sport is sport! https://t.co/1uRh4eZ61Z
— Tony Abbott (@TonyAbbottMHR) September 27, 2017
Thankfully, the NRL responded with what ammounted to a polite 'um soz but no'...
He is actually singing all his biggest hits - as his fans would expect.
— NRL Media (@NRLMedia) September 27, 2017
... but now, the code's grand final venue has taken its own measures to stop the game becoming any more 'politicised'.
The NRL has confirmed to News Corp that ANZ Stadium's ban on politically-themed items at games will now extend to rainbow flags and marriage equality campaign material -- including both 'Yes' and 'No' campaign banners -- and security at the gates will be doing bag checks to confiscate any signs or posters that could potentially upset either side of the SSM debate.
This in accordance with ANZ's official policy, which reads:
"Patrons wearing or otherwise displaying inappropriate or unauthorised commercial, political, religious or other offensive images, logos etc. may be denied entry into the Stadium or asked to remove such items prior to entering the venue."
An official's told News Corp: "The approach we are taking is that everyone’s allowed to express their views provided they don’t upset the person next to them. Further to that any flags bearing any political views will be subject to approval by security."
Meanwhile, in between announcing his wife's pregnancy in a cheesy home video, Macklemore has also confirmed to Nine that he'll be donating all profits from Aussie sales of ‘Same Love’ (which FYI is back at #1 on iTunes) to the ‘Yes’ campaign for marriage equality.
— Nine News Australia (@9NewsAUS) September 30, 2017
You legend, Macklemore.
- Emmy Mack
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