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Macklemore’s Same Love anthem the focus at 2017 NRL grand final

Macklemore’s Same Love anthem the focus at 2017 NRL grand final
October 2, 2017

Amid controversy, American artist Macklemore sang in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people (LGBTI) rights at last night’s NRL Grand Final.

Cast in the middle of debate in relation to Australia's vote on same-sex marriage, the singer performed a set prior kick-off at rugby league’s showpiece event at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium

While opponents had called for the song Same Love to be left out of the show to stop the event becoming "politicised", Macklemore said it "was one of the greatest honours of my career".

Seattle native Macklemore - whose real name is Benjamin Haggerty - had previously told Channel Nine he would donate his portion of the proceeds from the song's sales in Australia to the ‘Yes’ campaign.

The song, with lyrics including "I might not be the same, but that's not important / No freedom 'til we're equal / Damn right I support it" has hit the top of Australia's charts on the iTunes digital music store.

A petition asking the NRL to ban what it called an ‘LGBTIQ anthem’, started by former rugby league player Tony Wall, gathered thousands of signatures in the lead-up to the final.

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott was among those calling for the song - one of Macklemore's biggest hits - to be excluded.

But the song, accompanied by rainbow pyrotechnics, was the centrepiece of his set in front of final spectators and was televised around the world.

While the music played, the stadium's large screens displayed the NRL logo with the message: "We stand for equality."

The postal ballot runs for two months, ending on 7th November. Opinion polls have suggested a majority of Australians support same-sex marriage.

After Macklemore's performance ended, Melbourne Storm defeated their rivals the North Queensland Cowboys 34-6. 

Images courtesy of Arthur Stanley/Facebook.

24th September 2017 - NRL ANNOUNCES POSITIVE PARTICIPATION RESULTS

25th May 2017 - AFL NAMED ‘ORGANISATION OF THE YEAR’ AT LGBTI INCLUSION AWARDS

30th March 2017 - FREE RAINBOW LACES DISTRIBUTION BOOSTS ONGOING CAMPAIGN FOR INCLUSION IN SPORT 

14th February 2017 - NRL REDUCES OPERATING LOSSES TO $2.6 MILLION IN 2016 

20th December 2016 - NRL CLUBS FUNDING AGREEMENT SEES JOHN GRANT RETAIN ARLC CHAIRMANSHIP

1st December 2016 - SWIMMING AUSTRALIA LAUNCHES INCLUSION FRAMEWORK

1st April 2016 - AUSTRALIAN RUGBY UNION AND SKINS SUPPORT ‘RAINBOW ROUND OF SPORT’

31st March 2016 - RAINBOW LACES CAMPAIGN AIMS TO KICK HOMOPHOBIA OUT OF SPORT

16th March 2016 - MAJOR SPORTING CODES SIGN UP FOR NEW SYSTEM TO MEASURE LGBTI INCLUSION

28th June 2015 - ANTI-HOMOPHOBIA IN SPORT CAMPAIGN WINS INTERNATIONAL AWARDS

11th May 2015 - MAJOR AUSTRALIAN SPORTING CODES PLEDGE TO COMBAT HOMOPHOBIA IN SPORT 

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