Muhammad Mundine and the Ali Complex

1 Feb

mundine ali 2

The rubbish that flows freely from Anthony Mundine’s mouth will ensure he goes down as one the most disliked figures in Australia’s sporting history. He claims that, people just wanna hate’. Well that’s right ‘choc’, people generally will hate if you offend them and carry on like a dickhead. But for all his ramblings what really annoys me about Anthony Mundine is that he has attempted to copy the life and often the script of Mohammed Ali. Whenever Mundine is in the media he attempts to deliver an ‘Ali script’ in which he manages to bumble and fumble his words, making absolutely no sense and then finishes his awful monologue with an ‘ I am the best baby’. It is so bad to watch you almost want to scream ‘cut’, call Will Smith in and get him to deliver the lines.

I would never begrudge anyone for using Muhammad Ali as their role model but there is a difference between admiring a man’s qualities or just completely trying to rip him off. I think as soon as Mundine switched to boxing he must have watched every Ali documentary (especially ‘Thrilla in Manila’) and decided this is the man I want to play for the rest of my life. The only problem is that Ali grew up in a completely different era. Ali stood for what he believed in regardless of public opinion. He famously threw his Olympic medal in the Ohio river after he and friend were refused service at a white only establishment. He was also conscientious objector and refused to be drafted into the Vietnam War. In such a turbulent era it would have taken an amazing amount of fortitude to remain true to your beliefs and stand by your convictions. Ali was stripped of his World titles, his boxing license suspended and sentenced to  three years jail for evasion.Over the years Ali’s legend has grown and the significance of his actions have inspired many generations. This combined with his boxing prowess has seen him referred to as the greatest sporting figure to have ever lived.

For all of Ali’s greatness he was not perfect. Because of his out spoken nature he occasionally made errors of judgement and said regrettable things. To Ali’s credit he redefined or retracted a lot of these statements and learned from them. Although there were some people that  never forgave Ali, namely Joe Frasier. When I heard Mundine refer to Daniel Geale and other sporting legends as Uncle Tom’s I couldn’t help but think of the documentary ‘Thrilla in Manila’. Ali would repeatedly call Joe Frasier an Uncle Tom and question the loyalty to his race because of his business dealing with white people.

* (The phrase “Uncle Tom” has also become an epithet for a person who is slavish and excessively subservient to perceived authority figures, particularly a black person who behaves in a subservient manner to white people; or any person perceived to be a participant in the oppression of their own group)

Ali publicly ridiculed another Black man to elevate his own status and in turn made a lifelong enemy of Frasier. Ali tried many times to apologise but the damage was done and Frasier would never accept any of his advances. For a black man to call another black man an Uncle Tom is deeply offensive. I would bet my life that Anthony Mundine adopted the phrase from this movie.


Footage: Mundine calls Geale an Uncle Tom

Anthony mustn’t have received the memo that this is not 1960’s America.

His aggressive style and racist remarks only set out to separate and distance people. His statements to Daniel Geale seem to insinuate that unless you are first generation Aboriginal then you aren’t aboriginal.

This was Anthony Mundine’s response  after Daniel Geale stated that his indigenous ties originated in Tasmania.

“I thought they wiped all the Aborigines from Tasmania out,”

He questions anybody’s Aboriginality if they aren’t as dark as him or if they don’t do as much work as he does in the community. He also questioned Geale’s Aboriginality because of the colour of his wife’s skin.

“He’s got a white woman, he’s got white kids. I keep it real, all day every day.”

This is the problem, Anthony decides whether you are aboriginal or not and determines what side of his fence that you sit on.

The issue is that Anthony Mundine is not blessed with being as articulate as Ali. Ali could make a controversial statement and in the next sentence make the target of his tirade giggle while continuing his social commentary. Mundine comes across as a babbling fool and more recently his ignorance has come to the fore. Blaming the ‘system’ for his failure to represent Australia in Rugby League. Blaming the white administrators and labeling the Aboriginal administrators as ‘Uncle Toms’. He dismisses anybody and their Aboriginal heritage if it at all threatens him or his recounting of historical events. He claims he wasn’t selected to play for Australia because he was Aboriginal, but what about Dale Shearer, Laurie Daley, Steve Renouf, Chicka Ferguson, and Gordon Tallis. These are just a couple of indigenous players that represented Australia around the time that Mundine played. According to Mundine they are either not Aboriginal enough or they are Uncle Tom’s. Basically in one statement he managed to offend people of his culture and the greater community to justify his failures.

Mundine only cares about himself.

If he cared about the plight of his people he wouldn’t set about offending them. He also wouldn’t set about trying to belittle his own people and question their Aboriginality just to sell a few more tickets

Who is the ‘Uncle Tom’ now?

The fact is the life expectancy of an indigenous male is 11.5 years lower than a non-indigenous male and for a female aboriginal is 9.5 years lower than a non-aboriginal female. Third world living conditions, substance abuse and health issues  plague the aboriginal people and should be voiced. But Anthony, I hear more about you or who you don’t consider to be aboriginal than I do about your people’s plight.

Mundine’s tactics are archaic and are from a by-gone era. These days people will listen if you come forward with educated measured statements and, more importantly,come with solutions. Of recent times he has made statements that the flag and the national anthem reflect a time of British oppression. Both of which I agree with. I don’t relate to the Union Jack and the imperialistic origins of the National Anthem and I am WHITE. My ancestors are Irish and I don’t identify with the union jack. I have as much reason to despise it as the as the aboriginal people. As a matter of fact there a lot of migrants that have come to Australia that don’t identify with the union jack. This is modern day Australia where most of us have come from somewhere else. The aggressive racially based attacks are extremely unproductive and offensive to everyone. This is everyone’s Australia.

He claims that he wants everyone to come together and be peaceful. Then why does he keep trying to identify everyone who isn’t Aboriginal as the enemy? In my family, our partners are from the Philippines, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and Vietnam. If I was Aboriginal, Mundine would question our Aboriginality and our childrens’ because of the company we keep. But the fact of the matter is that this is modern day Australia. Mixed race couples are everywhere. So when Mundine addresses the ‘white’ man, who is he exactly referring to? The Greek and Italian immigrant of the 50-60’s, the Chinese immigrants of the last 30 years or is it just the people of this First Fleet?

The problem is Anthony wants to be the greatest. This is the most important thing in Mundine’s life. This is why he has become blinded with the ‘Ali Syndrome’. He has tried to desperately adopt Ali’s ethos and apply it in today’s world. He stood in front of Australia and displayed ignorance that is no longer tolerated in our society from any race of people.

In the recent fight against Daniel Geale, Mundine showed the world the kind of person he is. A self-centered man who cares more about his reputation than the greater good. Mundine was beaten fairly and could have gone out gracefully but like a spoiled child he left the ring and claimed he was robbed. Once again it was the system’s fault. Is this is the kind of example he wants to set for young aboriginal children? Is this how he wants to lead his people? Post fight he could have redeemed himself for all his past wrongs and stood proudly alongside Daniel Geale and celebrated their Aboriginal heritage in a unified gesture. But this wasn’t to be.

Instead he left the ring an ignorant loser and unfortunately this is how he will be remembered. People say that he behaves the way he does to get bums on seats or to make more money. This may well true be, but at what cost?  Anthony Mundine squandered the biggest opportunity he has ever been given. He got into a fight with 20 million people instead of turning them into believers. All in an attempt to be ‘The Greatest’.

Mundine proved there will only ever be one Ali and in proving that, he ultimately lost the battle with himself.

I will leave you with a few clips  that I found interesting. Where have we heard this before?

3 Responses to “Muhammad Mundine and the Ali Complex”

  1. Kieran C February 1, 2013 at 8:02 am #

    I’d say that aside from not using the word ‘twat’ you’ve summed up the dickhead perfectly.

  2. joepemberton1 February 5, 2013 at 8:34 am #

    Great work Johnny! Not sure if you saw the pic of Mundine, Sonny Bill and Quade Cooper ( There is enough rant material, in that one shot, to keep an angry mans fire stoked for eternity!

  3. Jay March 31, 2013 at 7:54 am #

    OMGoodness this is EXACTLY what I tell everyone!! Muhammad Ali is my hero. Everything he has done and accomplished. Anthony Mundine is such a crappy wannabe version of him. He has even converted to Islam. Seriously can you be any more obvious and sad! And just as I say to everyone else. He is absolutely embarrassing himself and others. Funny enough, people don’t realise that Mundine was raised by his WHITE mother and hardly by his ABORIGINAL father! He is not even what he claims “full blood”. And when my close friend was the captain of the Australian Indigenous Boxing Team he wouldn’t have anything to do with them. 7 fights he went to, to get boomerangs signed and footage of the boys fights. Seven times he refused to talk or even see them. It was Mick Mundine who went and talked with them and got everything signed.
    As an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, you embarrass me.

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