Sam Kekovich has caused a stir with an unprompted attack on the Indigenous Voice referendum in the middle of a segment on The Sunday Footy Show.
The Kangaroos great was interviewed on the Channel 9 show following the death of AFL legend Ron Barassi on Saturday.
The footy world is in mourning following the loss of one of the sport’s most revered figures.
Kekovich, who was coached by Barassi during the Kangaroos’ 1975 premiership season, made several classy tributes to his former mentor, but the interview was derailed when the subject suddenly switched to the divisive Indigenous Voice to Parliament proposal.
When asked about the growing support for the AFL premiership cup to be renamed the Ron Barassi Cup, Kekovich replied: “I’ve been asked this numerous times. It’s probably a no-brainer. But is that a big enough recognition?
“I reckon you could rename the country after Barassi. You know they want to change the course of our history. Well why don’t you p*** that off and name Australia Barassi Country.
I reckon it would be unanimous. We wouldn’t have to have a referendum. I don’t know what more you can do but a premiership cup is certainly apt.
“Whatever you do, don’t ask the politicians in this country please.”
The Australia Day “Lambassador” earlier made an emotional tribute to Barassi.
“Everyone that played under him … their lives were enriched and they went on to bigger and better things,” he said.
“We’re going to miss the man, but through the passage of time his legacy is ensured.”
Meanwhile, AFL greats Michael O’Loughlin and Michael Long last week implored Australians to vote yes on the referendum, held on October 14.
“If you believe the opposition, and if you believe what you read in the papers … the world is going to collapse. They said the same thing about same-sex marriage, they thought the world was going to end,” O’Loughlin said.
“They said the same thing when prime minister Rudd said sorry in the apology, they thought the world was going to end and it feels like the same business at the moment.
“Don’t take it from me, but you have to educate yourself.”
The AFL in May officially declared its support for the Indigenous Voice to Parliament.
It comes as opinion polls paint an increasingly dire picture for the Voice.
A poll by RedBridge Group released over the weekend found the Yes vote is in “free fall” and tracking at below 40 per cent in every state except Victoria.
And on Monday, a survey by Resolve Strategic published in The Sydney Morning Herald showed the overall No vote had grown to 57 per cent.
According to The Guardian’s poll tracker, support for the referendum has dropped 21 percentage points nationally in the past year.
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