His decision to publicly endorse the Voice comes a week after federal Opposition Leader Peter Dutton announced the Liberal Party would oppose it in a referendum and that he would actively campaign for the No vote.
Dutton’s announcement last week prompted the resignation of shadow attorney-general and Indigenous affairs spokesman Julian Leeser, who said he would campaign in favour of the referendum on the Voice. It also led to former Coalition Indigenous affairs minister Ken Wyatt quitting the Liberal Party in protest.
The latest polling from Resolve Political Monitor showed 57 per cent support nationally for an Indigenous Voice.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese this week said he expected sporting figures would speak out in support of an Indigenous Voice.
The AFL and NRL are preparing to launch co-ordinated Yes campaigns supporting the Voice after legislation to hold the referendum has passed through the federal parliament.
The two dominant football codes will head up a united campaign that will include Netball Australia, Football Australia, Cricket Australia, Tennis Australia and Rugby Australia.
Last month, AFL Players Association president and Geelong captain Patrick Dangerfield was vocal in his support of the Indigenous Voice and backed the AFL’s plans to come out strongly in support of the Yes campaign.
“We must continue to find ways to shine a light on marginalised sections of the community,” Dangerfield said at the time.
“As a code and a club and as a league, we have still got areas that we can improve vastly around all levels of support that we provide, but I think this [a Voice to parliament] is certainly a step in the right direction.”
Dangerfield played alongside Betts at the Adelaide Crows and the pair worked together at Geelong, where Betts held a development coaching role.
The Collingwood Football Club Board issued a statement in late March announcing it supported a First Nations Voice to parliament, but said the club had made clear to players, staff, members and supporters that they had an individual democratic right to vote however they wish.
The NRL announced its commitment to the Voice in a recent statement, saying:“The NRL listens to communities we’re a part of. When we do, we know that we’re closer and more connected and better able to serve those communities.”
The Australian Rugby League’s Indigenous Council was contacted for comment.
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