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‘What’s the problem’ PM says on final song

Malcolm Turnbull is looking forward to seeing a US rapper sing a gay anthem at the NRL grand final, but he accepts Tony Abbott is allowed to disagree.

The prime minister was again speaking out in support of Macklemore and the decision to enlist him to perform on Sunday.

“Both codes have been champions of inclusiveness,” he told the Nine Network on Friday.

“It’s a question of respecting the artist.”

Mr Turnbull said Same Love is one of the singer’s top songs and the NRL backs same-sex marriage.

“What’s the problem,” he said. “I look forward to it.”

Before flying to Australia, Macklemore said he had been receiving “a lot of tweets from angry old white men”.

Asked if Mr Abbott, who’s spoken about the politicising of sport, is one of those angry white men, Mr Turnbull said: “he’s certainly a white dude and I guess it depends on his mood at the time.”

The prime minister also reminded people in 1991 the Village People performed YMCA to the crowd.

Mr Abbott’s latest intervention into the same-sex marriage debate was echoed by North Queensland MP Bob Katter on Thursday, who accused the NRL of using the decider to “promote their sexual proclivities”.

“That is an insult and an offence to every single follower of rugby league in this country,” he told ABC’s 7.30 program on Thursday night.

“I mean, this CEO bloke who made this decision, mate, it’s tantamount to seeping sewage into the debutante ball.”

Attorney-General George Brandis labelled Mr Abbott’s stance “bizarre”, while Macklemore himself said he was going to “go harder” amid the furore.

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said he doesn’t regret choosing the rapper, labelling it one of the bravest decisions the league has made for pre-match entertainment.

Macklemore is expected to respond to the criticism when he fronts the media in Sydney on Friday.


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