Former NBA player Andrew Bogut says millions of dollars spent to encourage Australians to vote on constitutional change should instead be spent directly supporting Indigenous communities .
His comments came as reports surfaced that Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese had personally lobbied the country’s sports leagues to support Indigenous voices in parliament.
Bogut said the seven sports organizations involved in the campaign “bowed to the government” for fear of losing their money.
“We have seen it with COVID and elections. Sports organizations and clubs need to bow to the government and promote these ends. Because I know I won’t give you anything,” he told The Epoch Times.
“I think it’s blatant ‘sportswashing’. Whether you agree with the voice or not, I don’t think it should be promoted through sport,” he added.
“I believe that all money is spent on voices, promoting legislation, and [money for] Lawyers who have to write it — that money would be far better off going to actual Indigenous communities and building sports facilities. In fact, have some great things in your community that young children can aspire to. “
Bogut cited the situation in the central Australian town of Alice Springs, which is currently being driven by a wave of youth crime driven by a combination of alcohol abuse, domestic violence and home destruction.
“Look at some of the living conditions of these kids. No wonder they’re out on the street. Want to sleep bed-to-bed with eight other people? [Or] With strangers at home? “
Prime with sports code
Labor Prime Minister Albanese is working with Australian Football League (AFL), National Rugby League (NRL), Netball Australia, Football Australia, Cricket Australia and Tennis Australia on a coordinated campaign expected to launch in the second half of 2023. is.
Inter-cord conferences are ongoing with Albanians participating. sydney morning herald and The Age.
This year Australians will vote on whether to include Indigenous voices in Parliament in the Australian Constitution.
The primary goal of the campaign is to establish an indigenous “advisory body” to advise on bills passing through Congress. Details about how much power this body will wield have yet to be determined.
AFL’s prominent sports star Adam Goodes and NRL’s Jonathan Thurston have been named as potential ambassadors. Both have expressed support for the Uluru Statement from their hearts and voices in the past.
Resolve pollster Jim Reed said the inclusion of the seven sports code could strengthen the campaign, and hoped the NRL could help turn the tide in Queensland. are doing.
Further discussions are underway within each league.
No campaign question whether extra bureaucracy helps
Meanwhile, Gary Johns, former Labor Minister and now a member of the Recognize a Better Way campaign against voices, said that in addition to the already burgeoning Indigenous advocacy industry, additional bureaucracies are struggling. I was wondering if it would help the community that is there.
“These people [in sports] Do they know what they stand for? Do they really think they’re trying to help the Aboriginal people fight by creating a whole new bureaucracy in Canberra,” he told The Epoch Times.
“Sport itself is a great vehicle to help kids. So why not do what they do best: help kids through sport and get out of politics quickly?”