Dropped For Not Singing The Anthem? The Conspiracy Theory That Doesn't Add Up
It's the whisper that just won't go away.
Indigenous State of Origin players Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker were dropped from the NSW team after Game I, in part because they didn't sing the anthem -- or so the theory goes.
It's the sort of conspiratorial thought bubble that often circulates on social media, and which usually doesn't bear reporting. But it was lent legitimacy by former NSW player Timana Tahu, who racked up 12 games for the Blues in the early 2000s.
"For Latrell and Cody Walker, part of the reason why they got the chop was that they did that," Tahu wrote on the NITV blog, in a column where the "that" referred to the anthem boycott.
Sacked for not singing? The reason this theory sounds false to most people is that anyone who watched Game I could tell you that both players had absolute shockers.
Walker was dragged by coach Brad Fittler, in a rare but understandable removal of a key position player. Mitchell, meanwhile, lagged behind the play on several occasions and had little impact in attack or defence, in an equally insipid showing.
NSWRL rugby league boss David Trodden came out in defence of coach Brad (Freddy) Fittler, saying "Freddy is an honourable man who would never let things like that get in the way of decisions that he makes on selections".
That was construed by some as a white man sticking up for a white man.
But if anyone needed any reminding that NSW State of Origin selections are not based on race, two Indigenous players -- Wade Graham and Blake Ferguson -- were among the new faces brought in for Game II in Perth, while other indigenous players held their spots in a beaten team.