US rapper Macklemore has been unwittingly embroiled in Australia’s same-sex marriage debate, after it was announced he would be singing his hit song Same Love in the pre-grame entertainment at the NRL grand final.
Same Love, a song he sings with Mary Lambert, was recorded during the campaign for the Washington referendum, which was approved to legalise same-sex marriage in the US in 2012.
In the lead-up to the grand final on Sunday, former NRL player Tony Wall – who played 10 games for Western Suburbs in 1995 – has launched a change.org petition to block the rapper from singing the song.
“My family and many other loyal NRL fans, who are No voters, will not feel comfortable watching the Grand Final when the NRL is imposing such a bold political stance on its fans while the issue is currently being voted on by the Australian people,” he wrote.
Should you get sacked for having a no vote? Post continues after audio.
The sentiment was echoed by former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who tweeted his support on Wednesday afternoon.
“Footy fans shouldn’t be subjected to a politicised grand final. Sport is sport!” he wrote on Twitter.
However, Attorney-General George Brandis has dubbed the demand as “bizarre”.
“This particular song is one of four songs, I believe, that Macklemore is singing,” the Attorney-General told ABC News Breakfast on Thursday morning.
“It is one of his most popular songs, and for Mr Abbott or 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."
Macklemore himself responded to the backlash on US radio show The Cruz Show, saying no amount of outrage would stop him playing the song.
"I’m getting a lot of tweets from angry old white dudes in Australia. Today I think there is a petition to ban me from playing. It’s interesting times in Australia and I’m heading on a flight over there later tonight.”
"I’m gonna go harder, I'm going to love,” Macklemore said.
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