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11 June, 2020

OPINION - Some lives matter

This week we have seen ‘Black lives matter’ marches springing up across the globe.

By Phil Brandel

This week we have seen ‘Black lives matter’ marches springing up across the globe.

In Australia, these marches were not only protesting police brutality against black people in America but also the alarming rates of Aboriginal deaths in custody and incarceration.

Several levels of government tried stopping the marches, saying that organisers couldn’t guarantee social distancing during the current COVID crisis.

While in the same week crowds will return to watch the NRL, with a few conditions.

The NSW Government told the NRL last Friday that up to 50 people per corporate box would be allowed, pending the approval of a biosecurity plan.

Venues such as Bankwest Stadium have multiple boxes and lounges that can be split into different sections on top of their corporate boxes, meaning the number of attendees will be able to climb much higher.

The move will allow club sponsors to return and watch matches.

The ruling only applies to food and drink areas such as corporate suites and does not apply to the grandstands or general viewing areas.

As much as the NRL crows about being for the fans, ordinary fans won’t be able to get into a corporate box.

This is just straight-up corporate greed; they want their sponsors and their mates in the box but haven’t worried about the general rugby league loving public.

Shakespeare couldn’t have written a better metaphor.

Corporate sponsors can now leave their house, go to the footy, enjoy a beer or 7 and some party pies or sausage rolls.

‘Black lives matter’ marches had to go to court to fight for their democratic right to march.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Health Minister Greg Hunt warned people not to attend the protests, saying the pandemic was far from over.

“We respect deeply people’s right to express themselves. It’s fundamental to who we are. We respect the compassion behind those concerns, but we say at this moment in time there is a better way,” Mr Hunt said.

“There’s always a time for protests, but it’s not at this moment, not in a mass gathering form.”

But the same concerns do not affect the NRL and their sponsors.

We can’t have concerts, plays, theatre, I can’t take my 7-year-old to see an educational dinosaur show, but we can watch men not worry about social distancing while they run at and tackle each other.

Yes, Black lives matter, in fact, all lives matter, but it seems like some lives matter more than others.


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