Politics

Scott Morrison Is Not The Sport-Loving Jock He Pretends To Be

ScoMo is cheering for "Perth" in the AFL Grand Final. But "Perth" isn't a team.

It’s a question that gets asked every year as the AFL and NRL grand finals roll around: Which sides will the Prime Minister be supporting? Well, in today’s AFL Grand Final between Collingwood and West Coast, we have an answer, apparently Scott Morrison will be supporting “Perth” — a team that dosen’t actually exist.

Could it be that ScoMo — Sydney born and bred — doesn’t actually give a shit about AFL? Surely the PM would never simply pretend to cheer for a football team because Western Australia will be more important than Victoria in the next federal election? Surely not.

He wouldn’t be the first politician to pretend to love sport for political reasons. Sure, John Howard undoubtedly loved cricket, but Malcolm Turnbull looked positively uncomfortable anywhere near a sporting ground. Former NSW Premier Bob Carr was once reportedly caught reading Tolstoy at a rugby league match. It’s a funny old game.

But Scott Morrison’s sporting fibs run deeper. As we’ve reported before, “ScoMo”, as he likes to be called, is trying to re-cast his image. He wants to present himself as the antithesis to his predeccesor, Malcolm Turnbull. Where Turnbull was a rich toff who was much more at homemaking references to the Peloponnesian War, Morrison makes constant references to his beloved NRL team, the Cronulla Sharks. Just the other day, the PM ended a radio interview with his trademark “let’s go Sharks”.

It’s no accident, it’s an attempt to soften Morrison’s image in the eyes of voters, most of whom had never heard of him before he took the top job last month.

But How Much Does Morrison Really Like Sport?

We’re not the first to notice that Scott Morrison’s apparent love for rugby league isn’t as authentic as it appears, Twitter user @Matttburke has been digging into it for a while, and found a bunch of tweets indicating that ScoMo is actually more of a fan of Rugby Union, the sport of choice for Mosman-based dentists and private school alumni nationwide.

Here’s one from 2010:

“I’m more of a rugby fan”, hey? And here’s another from 2012.

And here’s a speech to Parliament where he talks about his Rugby Union-based feud with former Treasurer Joe Hockey.

It all makes sense when you remember that Morrison only moved to Cronulla in 2009. Before that, he was born and raised in Sydney’s rugby union loving eastern suburbs.

And Morrison’s half-hearted love of Rugby League isn’t all. Despite the PM’s apparent love for “Perth”, he’s actually a self-declared Bulldogs fan, as shown here:

So the next time you hear Scott Morrison say “let’s go Sharks” or turn up to the MCG to cheer on the Sydney Swans because it’s politically convenient, just remember, it’s probably all bullshit.