Rapper Briggs has strongly criticized Melbourne Storm’s chairman for his involvement in the ‘No’ Campaign donation. Melbourne Storm had previously supported a constitutional voice for Indigenous Australians in Parliament.
Adam Briggs, widely recognized as a vocal advocate for social justice, particularly for Indigenous communities, has turned his attention to the Melbourne Storm NRL club, which he has passionately supported since its establishment in 1998.
Briggs has written a scathing letter to the club’s chairman, Matthew Tripp, regarding a controversial donation made by corporate director Brett Ralph. Ralph had contributed a substantial $75,000 to the ‘No’ campaign group, Advance Australia, just prior to a crucial Australian referendum. The referendum aimed to decide whether the Australian Constitution should be amended to acknowledge the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to advise Parliament on issues directly impacting them.
Initially, the ‘Yes’ campaign enjoyed significant support, but it gradually lost momentum in its efforts to sway undecided voters, resulting in the referendum’s defeat, with about 60% of Australians voting ‘No.’ This outcome is widely viewed as potentially causing lasting harm to First Nations people, effectively delaying efforts to modernize Australia’s foundational document.
Briggs, an ardent ‘Yes’ campaign supporter, expressed his strong disapproval of the donation and the Melbourne Storm’s endorsement of the ‘No’ campaign. The Melbourne Storm had officially declared their support for the ‘Yes’ vote, aligning with the cause of providing Indigenous Australians with a parliamentary voice.
The NRL features a substantial representation of Polynesian, South Sea Islander, and First Nations players and has often been at the forefront of social issues. For Briggs, the referendum was not a political matter but rather a humanitarian one, focusing on Indigenous people’s rights and recognition.
In his open letter to the club’s chairman, Briggs conveyed his deep concerns that the donation to the ‘No’ campaign only served to propagate misinformation and fearmongering against Indigenous communities. He stressed that such actions devalue the contributions of Indigenous communities to Australian society and the nation’s identity.
Briggs is well-known for his outspoken views on matters related to race, identity, and Indigenous rights. In 2016, he made headlines for strongly criticizing individuals who dressed as Aborigines in full black body paint as ‘redneck scumbags.’
Despite the passionate letter and Briggs’ disassociation from the club, the Melbourne Storm has not yet responded to the concerns, leaving the controversy unresolved.
This incident highlights the ongoing discussions and tensions surrounding Indigenous issues in Australian society and underscores the role of sports and influential figures like Briggs in advocating for social change.