Why this photo of Scott Morrison at the cricket has come back to haunt him ahead of Australia Day – as he defends comments made about the convicts that settled on January 26
- Scott Morrison was condemned for the photo tweeted during the fires last year
- Mr Morrison told Cricket Australia to stay out of politics after Jan 26 decision
- Cricket body is calling Australia Day ‘January 26’ to be ‘inclusive’ of Indigenous
- PM also clarified remarks he made comparing Indigenous suffering to convicts
A photo of Prime Ministertalking to Australian cricketer Steve Smith from Australia’s ‘horror’ fire season in November last year has come back to bite him.
Sports journalist Daniel Jeffrey retweeted the photo to criticise Mr Morrison’s remarks on Cricket Australia’s decision to brandas ‘January 26’.
The Prime Minister has been accused of hypocrisy for saying Cricket Australia should focus on cricket and not politics.
A tweet (pictured) showing Prime Minister Scott Morrison talking to Australian cricketer Steve Smith from Australia’s ‘horror’ fire season in November last year has come back to bite him
Cricket Australia has removed references to Australia Day in it’s marketing for the Big Bash on January 26 to be more ‘inclusive’ towards Indigenous Australians.
Mr Morrison pilloried the decision, telling Cricket Australia to stay out of politics.
‘Australian cricket fans would like Cricket Australia to focus a lot more on cricket and a lot less on politics,’ Mr Morrison remarked.
Mr Morrison has been accused of hypocrisy as the tweet of him telling ‘fire-impacted communities’ to cheer for the cricket team has resurfaced.
‘Going to be a great summer of cricket,’ the photo was captioned.
‘And for our firefighters and fire-impacted communities, I’m sure our boys will give them something to cheer for.’
At the time, the Prime Minister was labelled ‘demented’ and ‘psychopathic’ for the tweet.
Sports journalist Daniel Jeffrey retweeted the photo of Mr Morrison (pictured left) and Mr Smith (pictured right) to criticise his remarks on Cricket Australia’s decision to brand Australia Day as ‘January 26’. The Prime Minister has been accused of hypocrisy for saying Cricket Australia should focus on cricket and not politics
Cricket Australia Director Mel Jones (pictured) said Cricket Australia’s decision to re brand Australia Day by removing references to January 26 was designed to make Indigenous people ‘feel safe’
Mr Morrison’s remarks on Australia Day this year have also been condemned, as he said January 26, 1788, ‘wasn’t a particularly flash day’ for convicts.
‘You know, when those 12 ships turned up in Sydney, it wasn’t a particularly flash day for the people on those vessels either,’ he said.
Mr Morrison clarified those remarks on Friday.
‘I think it was false to take that equivocation,’ he said.
‘All those stories are important. They’re not competing with each other. They’re just part of who we are.’
On January 26, 1788, fleets sent from England arrived at Sydney Cove and claimed the land on behalf of King George III despite the presence of Indigenous people.
Many Indigenous people see January 26 as the start of widespread massacre and dispossession.
Cricket Australia Director Mel Jones said the organisations decision to re brand Australia Day was designed to make Indigenous people ‘feel safe’.
‘We’re not afraid of change if it allows every person in Australia to enjoy the game,’ Ms Jones said.
Mr Morrison has also been under fire from several high-profile Australian cricketers for his remarks and apparent ‘duplicity’.
Bowler Megan Schutt (pictured right) condemned Mr Morrison’s tweet and his comments on Australia Day. She called it ‘insensitive and divisive and said Mr Morrison ‘should focus more on politics and less on cricket’. Picture: Ms Schutt with her wife Jess Holyoake (left)
Bowler Megan Schutt commented on a video of the tweet, calling it ‘insensitive and divisive.’
‘Maybe you should focus more on politics and less on cricket?’ She wrote in reference Mr Morrison.
Supporters of keeping January 26 as Australia Day have said they want to focus on moving forward.
‘That was more than 200 years ago, convicts being brought out under forced orders from the United Kingdom,’ Finance Minister Simon Birmingham told the ABC.
‘We will achieve that greater success by bringing people together not by dividing them.’
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