Mundine targeted as NRL role model

By Laine Clark,

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    ‘Role model’ might not be the first term that comes to mind when Anthony Mundine is mentioned.

    But NRL welfare and education manager Dean Widders believes the polarising boxer is just that and hopes to invite him to future indigenous rugby league player camps in a bid to inspire youngsters.

    As coordinator of the inaugural indigenous players’ camp ahead of next weekend’s All Stars showdown, Widders on Friday officially welcomed more than 40 NRL players and selected youngsters for the three-day event on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

    In what ex-NRL player Widders hopes becomes an annual event, the camp will touch on every aspect of indigenous culture including everything from storytellers and street rappers to spear throwing and didgeridoo playing.

    Far from fazed by Mundine’s latest antics, Widders believed the former Dragons playmaker would be a perfect fit for the camp and hoped to invite him in the future.

    “Definitely – he is a real mentor to a lot of these players. ‘Choc’ (Mundine) is definitely someone the boys look to for inspiration,” Widders told AAP.

    “The way he lives his life and dedicates it to sport is a great way to follow, I think.”

    Mundine again raised eyebrows by using the race card ahead of this week’s IBF middleweight bout with compatriot Daniel Geale in Sydney.

    He claimed league great Laurie Daley never embraced his Aboriginal heritage and said “Uncle Toms” denied him representative honours during his playing days.

    It came after Mundine was forced to apologise to Geale after drawing widespread condemnation for a tirade that included questioning his opponent’s Aboriginal heritage because he had “a white wife and white kids”.

    But Widders said behind the scenes, Mundine was a very different person.

    “I know Choc personally and I have never seen a nicer guy especially around his own people, community and family,” he said.

    “I don’t really like commenting on the stuff he says publicly.”

    Widders was excited by the prospect of the new camp which developed from a 2012 chat between indigenous stars Greg Inglis, Johnathan Thurston, Sam Thaiday and Justin Hodges.

    “This camp is about learning a bit about their culture and going on whatever journey they want after that,” he said.

    “It’s about representing indigenous people and making sure when they go back out there, they can make a bit of a difference.

    “If we can become aware and be better leaders and more comfortable in our own skin, it makes you a better role model out in the community.

    “And role models are very important. We have a lot of issues in our community that we want to help improve.

    “There will also be plenty of laughs but hopefully the boys walk away from this feeling a lot more comfortable about who they are and what they represent.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (20)

    • February 2nd 2013 @ 5:30am
      North Sydney Bear said | February 2nd 2013 @ 5:30am | ! Report

      A role model in what capacity? Lack of pride in his country? Abuse of others who dsagree with him? His constant whingeing? The giant chip on his shoulder?

    • February 2nd 2013 @ 7:48am
      Godfrey said | February 2nd 2013 @ 7:48am | ! Report

      The NRL will be a laughing stock of Australian sport if they do this. And the time at Souths with the Gladiator has had an effect on Widders and it isn’t good.

    • February 2nd 2013 @ 8:13am
      oikee said | February 2nd 2013 @ 8:13am | ! Report

      I mentioned yesterday that Mundine gets baited by the media. Get him away from that he is probably a nice guy and community leader. Again, papers dont report the good stuff, they only look for the bad.
      I would be happy to see Mundine with some role to play. Keep the media mob away from him, he should be fine.

      • February 2nd 2013 @ 11:23am
        Andy said | February 2nd 2013 @ 11:23am | ! Report

        “Definitely – he is a real mentor to a lot of these players. ‘Choc’ (Mundine) is definitely someone the boys look to for inspiration,” LOL could not pick a worse role model. Definite poor sport.

      • February 2nd 2013 @ 5:14pm
        Andy og said | February 2nd 2013 @ 5:14pm | ! Report

        Mundine chases the media and the only way he can capture it is to spew racist offensive filth. He is the epitome of narcissism. Id prefer have my son twenty stone and addicted to the play station rather than have him believe that Anthony mundine is something to aspire too. the nrl can’t be considering this.Sure it’s important to play sport and look after your health but surely it is more important to be a decent human being.

      • February 3rd 2013 @ 1:58pm
        polly said | February 3rd 2013 @ 1:58pm | ! Report

        Not having a go at you mate but could you explain how he was ‘baited’ to make some of the comments he has made recently ?

    • February 2nd 2013 @ 9:41am
      Chui said | February 2nd 2013 @ 9:41am | ! Report

      “The way he lives his life”

      And this is what will inspire people? Delusional self promotion. Inability to accept a referee, umpire, scorers or judges decision. Slagging off members of his own community because he doesn’t get what he wants? Commenting on world events with very little understanding oF what occurred. The list is endless.

      I’m tired of people no wanting to comment on Mundine’s public persona. The line about him being a nice guy doesn’t wash. The fact is, he is a tool in public. He’s not misquoted, he’s not misrepresented. He is what he appears to be if he chooses to behave this way.

      If he’s all for it, then you have to ak if Dean Widders is the right person for the position as well.

    • Roar Guru

      February 2nd 2013 @ 10:33am
      Rabbitz said | February 2nd 2013 @ 10:33am | ! Report

      In person he might be a great guy. That counts for nought as a role model. A role models’ public persona is what counts.

      As a public person Mundine is a deadset, full on drop kick.

      The NRL needs to think long and hard about this.

    • February 2nd 2013 @ 10:39am
      eelboy said | February 2nd 2013 @ 10:39am | ! Report

      “I know Choc personally and I have never seen a nicer guy especially around his own people, community and family,” he said.”

      Nice guy around his own people!!!!!!…would have thought a mentor or role model would be nice to all people – to show respect to others, to show humility etc etc…..there are plenty of indigenous stars who are great role models….Anthony Mundine does not deserve the honour……..publicly he come across like a hard headed brat with racist overtones…..dont get me started on his conversion to his new found religion that does not tolerate any other gods/spirituallity….just smacks the indigenous spiritual culture in the face……..

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