Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Man returns to footy?

It seems Anthony Mundine isn’t just handy with the boxing gloves. The man who prefers to be called “The Man” has now re-entered the rugby league arena.

The Rear Window column of the Australian Financial Review (on 5 June 2006) reports Mundine is preparing to inject some badly-needed cash into a regional rugby league club near Griffith in the Riverina.

The Three Ways United Club is a largely Aboriginal team captained by Robbie Simpson who used to play with Mr Man at the St George club in south western Sydney during the late 1990’s. Simpson is also a big supporter of Mundine’s boxing exploits, and AFR reports Simpson as being in Mundine’s corner during his recent victory over Danny Green.

AFR quotes one source as suggesting Mundine might cough up as much as $20,000. Mundine and his family are active in indigenous issues, including health and sports. One of Mundine’s aunts is known to be a prominent administrator in Aboriginal health issues, and has worked with ATSIC, at least 2 state governments and 1 territory government. His uncle is National President of the Australian Labor Party and a fellow ambassador for the White Ribbon Day campaign.

The Man’s rise as a premier Australian athlete has even earned him praise from unusual and unexpected quarters. Not exactly known for her great love of Muslim cultures, even allegedly conservative Fairfax columnist Miranda Devine praised the “teetotal, non-smoking Aboriginal Muslim-convert” Mundine for being an excellent example to all Australian youth.

© Irfan Yusuf 2006

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