It was announced at the beginning of September that Grammy Award-winning US musician Macklemore would be headlining the half-time show at the NRL Grand Final this weekend.
Obviously, the singer would be expected to play his biggest hits – which includes his 2013 #1 hit, ‘Same Love’, a hugely popular track that advocates for the equality of LGBTQIA+ people. It was recorded in 2012, in the lead up to the United States legalising same-sex marriage.
Since the announcement, Australia has become embroiled in a national debate over the legalisation of same-sex marriage, and so, many ‘No’ voters are unhappy that Macklemore is singing a song that is pro-LGBTQIA+ and pro-same-sex marriage at the Grand Final.
This includes former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who tweeted, “Footy fans shouldn’t be subjected to a politicised grand final. Sport is sport!”.
A petition asking for the “removal of LGBTIQ politics out of the awesome sport of Rugby League” has also been created by former NRL player Tony Wall.
The petition, which has been backed by the Coalition for Marriage, reads, “It will be very difficult to watch the NRL Grand Final with my wife and five young children as the event will be heavily politicised with a LGBTIQ anthem taking centre stage.”
While Macklemore has already publicly responded to the complaints (“I’m gonna go harder, I’m going to love”), ‘Yes’ voters have spent their time making jokes about the furore on Twitter.
Can straight people settle down and stop calling a Macklemore song from 2013 a “LGBTQ anthem”??? We’re not talking Carly Rae Jepsen here.
— mat whitehead (@matwhi) September 27, 2017The stock photo on the petition to ban Macklemore from performing the NRL grand final is truly stunning pic南京夜生活,/09JokE7Di4
— Sally Rugg 🏳️🌈 (@sallyrugg) September 28, 2017Tony Abbott gonna kneel during the Macklemore song
— DANNY DORITO (@brah_dawg) September 27, 2017should i threaten to shirtfront macklemore
— Aus Gov Just Googled (@GovGoogles) September 27, 2017Yeah mates, that Macklemore song is too political, get him out of the NRL Grand Final! Get Cold Chisel on to play Khe Sanh instead!
— Andrew (@andrew_54) September 27, 2017I also oppose Macklemore performing at the NRL grand final —Tegan & Sara would have been much better
— Lane Sainty (@lanesainty) September 27, 2017I heard Macklemore’s Same Love today and incredibly it didn’t turn me gay so i’m looking forward to hearing it in person on Sunday #NRLGF
— James (@JamesK_1312) September 27, 2017
Others brought up the strangeness of the situation, particularly seeing Attorney-General George Brandis call Tony Abbott’s opposition to the performance “bizarre”, and explaining the popularity of the song ‘Same Love’ to him on ABC TV:
George Brandis explaining Macklemore’s discology to Tony Abbott on morning television. What a time to be alive.
— Michael Koziol (@michaelkoziol) September 27, 2017
Others wanted the backlash to stop – for a variety of reasons:
We’ve seen the culture wars do some awful things but ‘force the left to endorse Macklemore’ might be the worst among them.
— Colley (@JamColley) September 27, 2017Omg @TonyAbbottMHR STOP EMBARRASSING US IN FRONT OF @macklemore. #samelove#marriageequality#VoteYes
— Carrie 🌈 (@flamingo_a_gogo) September 27, 2017Macklemore is the George Clooney Batman for the Aus queer community: the hero we neither deserve nor want
— Patrick Lenton (@PatrickLenton) September 27, 2017I agree in principle with the banning of Macklemore at public events but not because he has a pro-SSM song
— Vince Rugari (@VinceRugari) September 27, 2017