When the “the most polarising athlete in Australian sports history” sashayed into the South African jungle and was thrust back into the public eye, it was never going to lack headline-worthy drama.
Anthony Mundine, former boxer and NRL star who is as well known for his sporting prowess as he is for his controversial thoughts on women, gay marriage and abortion, has saturated the news cycle since it was revealed he would star in Channel 10’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! on Monday.
Some have drawn attention to his past assertions that it’s appropriate to beat women with “little sticks”, others, more recent interviews where he shed light on his thoughts on gay marriage:
“I was always taught that two genders together is natural; it’s what’s meant to be. Male and male, or female and female, is just confusing to society.”
Anthony Mundine, 42, was born in Sydney’s inner west to two Indigenous parents and has a sister, Kelly.
Given many of his opinions have been controversial, it’s not unusual for us want to understand more. After all, when his beliefs go so totally against the grain of public sentiment, we inherently want to know why. Where does he come from? Who does he surround himself with? What does he believe? Why does he believe what he believes?
Mundine’s beliefs are well-documented. The 42-year-old, who is of Indigenous heritage and converted to Islam in 1999, isn’t exactly shy with his opinions.
He is, however, shy about his family.
According to Fairfax, Mundine’s mother Lyn and his boxing star father Tony split when he was a teenager. Lyn’s mother was a part of the stolen generation, taken when she was a child and never knowing her real family.
Curiously, little more has been made of Mundine’s own immediate family, with conflicting facts appearing online.
In a profile by News Corp in 2009, journalist Trent Dalton writes as follows:
Mundine’s home was built for a family, sprawling brick, bordered by a tall, spiked fence, rumpus rooms off every living area. Outside, an Aboriginal groundskeeper sweeps leaves off the tennis court. Engraved into a palm tree by the swimming pool are the words “Danielle Loves Choc”.
Danielle, heavily pregnant with their fifth child, moves slowly around the house in the background.
The Danielle referenced in the piece is thought to be Danielle Mundine, the boxer’s partner of many years and mother to some of his children. How many remains unclear.