Rhian Deutrom, news.com.au, January 25, 2019
A controversial banner, hung at the Big Bash League match in Perth on Thursday night, has caused outrage among fans across the country.
Three men unfurled the banner at the match between the Perth Scorchers and Sydney Thunder at Perth’s Optus Stadium.
Sprawled across the banner was the phrase, ‘It’s OK to be white’, which stretched the length of about 18 chairs.
The banner was up for several minutes before security intervened, but not before eagle eyed fans were able to capture footage of the offensive sign.
The men attempted to leave the area undetected, but security intervened and police were called to escort them from the premises.
The West Australian reported the men were issued with a ‘move on’ notice by the police outside the stadium moments later.
It’s unclear whether the group will be banned from future events at the stadium, but people have since called the move “disgusting” and are agitating for a total stadium ban for the three men.
The move has angered many people across the country, who have claimed the banner and its message had no place at the Big Bash League.
Journalist Jo Casamento told Studio10 this morning that the banner was “obviously an inflammatory sign, done to provoke and make a statement”.
“This is clearly a stunt, and security did the right thing by kicking them out,” Casamento said.
“There’s no place for this in our society, we are a tolerant society and enough is enough.”
Studio 10 host Joe Hildebrand chimed in, suggesting the men take their offensive sign to a cricket match in South Africa, where the oppressive Apartheid movement originated.
“Why don’t they unfurl that in Johannesburg, go to a cricket match in Durban and see if you make out of the stadium alive then,” Hildebrand said.
“It was good they were booted out and that it was over in a matter of minutes.”
However Hildebrand said the group shouldn’t be able to be made into martyrs for their racist cause.
“The whole narrative that these idiots try to construct is that they’re the oppressed ones, that there’s a war on white people, a war on the west and that they’re the victims,” he said.
“So no, I don’t think they should be banned from the stadium.”
According to some eagle eyed spectators, the banner was not only removed by security for its offensive and politicised message, but also because it had breached Cricket Australia regulations.
In Australia, the phrase took on a new meaning following Pauline Hanson’s proposed ‘It’s OK to be white’ motion in the senate last year.
Ms Hanson attempted to draw attention to the “deplorable rise of anti-white racism and attacks on Western civilisation” across the country, which was mistakenly supported by many LNP senators but ultimately defeated by opponents who labelled it racist.
But not everyone was offended by the banner, with others racing to defend the group, claiming their actions hadn’t hurt anyone.