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
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.