Australian Rugby Fans Clash Over Planned Macklemore Performance At NRL Grand Final

Hey, America isn’t the only place where politicians are using sporting events as a staging ground for their insipid arguments! Case in point: Macklemore, along with singer Mary Lambert, is set to perform “Same Love,” his song about same-sex marriage equality, at Australia’s National Rugby League grand final on Sunday night. As Buzzfeed reports, the song is a #1 hit in Australia, and the performance comes just as the country is conducting a postal survey on whether same-sex couple should be allowed to marry. And so naturally, some Australian politicians are making a big stink over Macklemore performing the song.

Claiming to be “protecting children,” former NRL player Tony Wall has started an online petition asking for the performance to be cancelled. And former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, a prominent gay marriage opponent, has tweeted that the game should not have anything to do with politics:

Meanwhile, as the Sydney Morning Herald reports, the anti-gay marriage Coalition For Marriage has sent a spokesman to complain that the grand final is “not a PC lecture theatre” and that it’s “bizarre that the NRL would choose to use its half-time entertainment to push a message which it knows millions of Australians disagree with.”

But NRL CEO Todd Greenberg says that the performance will happen, saying that rugby is an “inclusive game” and that “it would be a little hypocritical for us to have inclusiveness as one of our values and not actually deliver on it.”

There are many, many reasons why you wouldn’t want to watch a Macklemore performance, but your frantic objection to gay marriage should not be one of them. And the NRL deserves credit for taking an actual political stand while our own NFL is just vaguely gesturing in that direction.

Tags: Macklemore