Mun­dine’s Fight pro­mot­ers to test ‘re­formed ho­mo­phobe’ ring card team re­solve with in­clu­sive gay and trans­gen­der

Anthony has said that he’s not into racial or ho­mo­pho­bic slurs any­more and my sense is he will be fully sup­port­ive of this ... If he doesn’t it will show he is still a bigot

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - PETER GLEESON

IN A world first, gay and trans­gen­der peo­ple will join young women car­ry­ing around cards for the up­com­ing su­per fight be­tween Jeff Horn and Anthony Mun­dine at Sun­corp Sta­dium.

Pro­mot­ers say the move is a hu­man rights is­sue and boxing needs to “get with the times when it comes to in­clu­sion”. How­ever, the move will also box Mun­dine (pic­tured right) – who has faced pub­lic crit­i­cism for ho­mo­pho­bic com­ments – into a cor­ner.

Pro­moter Dean Lon­er­gan says the bold move will only pro­ceed if Mun­dine agrees, say­ing if he doesn’t “it will show he is still a bigot”.

“If he’s se­ri­ous about turn­ing over a new leaf and let­ting his gloves do the talk­ing, this will be wa­ter off a duck’s back,’’ Mr Lon­er­gan told The Sun­day Mail.

“Anthony has said that he’s not into racial or ho­mo­pho­bic slurs any­more and my sense is he will be fully sup­port­ive of this.

“If he doesn’t it will show he is still a bigot and if he does it shows any­one can change.’’

The move has the sup­port of the State Govern­ment, with Tourism Min­is­ter Kate Jones de­scrib­ing it as a great step for­ward for the gay com­mu­nity.

“We know that the LGBTIQ com­mu­nity is over rep­re­sented when it comes to bul­ly­ing,” she said.

“We know Jeff Horn is an anti-bul­ly­ing am­bas­sador.

“Let’s hope this shines a light on in­clu­sion and par­tic­u­larly at a big event like this.”

Tra­di­tional boxing card girls wear skimpy out­fits as they pa­rade around the ring to let spec­ta­tors know what round the fight is up to. Mr Lon­er­gan said mem­bers of the LGBTIQ com­mu­nity could wear “what­ever they fancy’’ as part of the “equal­ity ring card team’’.

“They can wear a suit or they can just wear pants ... it’s up to them,’’ he said.

“This is a hu­man rights is­sue and boxing is a sport that needs to get with the times when it comes to in­clu­sion of the LGBTIQ com­mu­nity. The stereo­typ­i­cal bikini girl car­ry­ing the ring cards has to be left be­hind and we need to em­brace di­ver­sity, em­brace this new bold era of in­clu­sive­ness.

“We are go­ing to be the first ma­jor sta­dium boxing event in the world to do this and the peo­ple of Queens­land will be proud.’’

Mun­dine, who has con­verted to Islam, made anti­gay com­ments when he left the re­al­ity tele­vi­sion show I’m a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here! in Fe­bru­ary.

“If we were to live in a so­ci­ety, just like an Abo­rig­i­nal cul­ture, that ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity is for­bid­den and you do it and the con­se­quences are cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment or death, do you think you are go­ing to do it? Or think twice about do­ing it?” he said at the time.

Mun­dine also as­serted ho­mo­sex­u­als should not be al­lowed on TV, in case they in­flu­ence young chil­dren to be gay. Four months later, Mun­dine apol­o­gised for his com­ments, say­ing he was a changed man and didn’t want to be “harm­ful” or to cause hurt to gay friends and fam­ily mem­bers.

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