A Brief History Of Scott Morrison Flip-Flopping On His Favourite Sports Teams
Who would've thought Scott Morrison would conveniently backflip on his own interests for political gain?
Scott Morrison has flip-flopped on his decisions a whole lot during his time as Prime Minister.
In fact, when it came to coronavirus alone, ScoMo backflipped so often you wouldn’t be amiss to think he joined the latest Cirque Du Soleil troupe. For example, the Prime Minister famously started the year by saying that the vaccine rollout was “not a race” before shifting his views in July to claim that his rollout was actually a “gold medal run” as people rushed to get vaccinated.
Then Scott Morrison backflipped again when it came to his influence on the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI). In a single press conference, ScoMo went from saying he had been “constantly appealing” to ATAGI to change their eligibility advice for AstraZeneca to saying he “cannot control what ATAGI advises” when quizzed about it.
But ScoMo’s inability to stay loyal to any of his decisions isn’t just reserved for decisions about coronavirus. Something else the Prime Minister can’t seem to stay loyal to is the footy teams he’s allegedly been so passionate about over the last two decades.
So let’s take a deep dive into the history of Scott Morrison’s inability to just settle on something as simple as a sporting team because he’s too busy trying to be an everyman.
A Timeline Of Scott Morrison’s (Lack) Of Loyalty To Teams
The discussion around what team Scott Morrison roots for was sparked by Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese during a Triple M Gold Coast Drive with Luke Bradnam interview in December 2020.
While chatting about Albanese’s own love for rugby league and his loyalty to the South Sydney Rabbitohs, the Opposition Leader noted that Morrison’s sudden shift to being a Cronulla Sharks fan conveniently only started when he moved to the shire.
“I’m no massive fan of ‘Scomo’ or anything but I know he’s a Cronulla Sharks fan for example,” show host Luke Bradnam said. “Yeah, but you see he wasn’t for a long time. Only when he moved in, only when he moved into the Shire,” Albanese responded.
After a few months of nothing, the conversation then picked back up late last month, when Albanese referred to ScoMo as a “Roosters celebrity supporter” during a Breakfast with Vossy radio interview.
This discussion around the “highest-profile supporters” of Australia’s rugby teams inspired some digging by some sleuths on Twitter.
Discussion on @breakfastnews about who the highest profile Western Bulldogs supporter is.
— Matt Burke (@matttburke) September 8, 2021
During this digging, Twitter user @mattburke managed to find an old tweet where the Prime Minister claimed he was a Western Bulldogs supporter through and through because “loyalty counts”.
But after a little more digging, it’s abundantly clear that “loyalty” is nowhere to be seen when it comes to ScoMo and the footy teams he backs. So let’s dissect the last 20 or so years.
Rugby VS Rugby League
Late 1990s: ScoMo Implies He Prefers Rugby Over League
While working as the director of the New Zealand Office of Tourism and Sport from 1998 to 2000, Morrison spoke about his adopted hometown of Wellington.
Determined to please the All Blacks-loving kiwis around him, ScoMo called New Zealand a “bit of a nirvana” because “in Sydney, rugby usually takes second place to the league“.
2006: Rugby Union Teams Added To Personal Interest Section On CV, Moves To Sutherland Shire And Stops Supporting Easts Rugby Union Club
After getting sacked as managing director of Tourism Australia in 2006 after just 18 months on the job, ScoMo prepped his CV before winning his controversial seat for Cook in 2007.
In his CV’s personal interests section, Morrison added “Church (Hillsong Church, Waterloo), family, politics, reading (biography, travel, history, Australian fiction), kayaking, rugby (Randwick, Waratahs) and AFL (Western Bulldogs).”
No NSW rugby league teams were listed in his interests at the time. Instead ScoMo’s love for the Cronulla Sharks conveniently only came after he won preselection for Cook — an electoral division that, of course, includes Cronulla — and moved to the Shire. And despite spending his entire life being an avid supporter of the Easts Rugby Club, his move to the Shire spelled the end for his relationship with Easts and the start of his love for the Sharks.
2010: Shares That He’s A Rugby Fan Above All Else
Four years later, while responding to a query on Twitter, ScoMo shared that he was “more of a rugby fan” when it comes to sports. Morrison added that when it comes to NRL, the Cronulla Sharks still had his loyalty.
@MoDazla all sorted. I'm more of a Rugby fan, but naturally when it comes to the NRL, the Sharks have my loyalty
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) August 3, 2010
2012: Still Backs Rugby, But Hints That AFL Is More Entertaining
Six years after adding rugby to his personal interests, Morrison tweeted that it will “always be my game” during the 2012 AFL grand final. However, he did add that AFL is “the greatest show in Australia”.
Rugby will always be my game, but the #AFLGF is the greatest show in Oz
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) September 29, 2012
2015: Ignores Football Because He “Grew Up On Rugby”
In 2015, one Twitter user asked Morrison why he never tweets about football when “your region has the highest participation rate in the world”. In response, Morrison shared that the Sutherland Shire Football Association “do a great job” with the SSFA being the “biggest in the country”.
“Lilli Pilli Berries are my local team,” he continued, explaining that he doesn’t really talk about football because he just “grew up on rugby”.
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) April 11, 2015
Also 2015: Talks About Rugby Union-Based Feud With Joe Hockey
In a speech to parliament in 2015, ScoMo proudly spoke about his rugby feud with former Treasurer Joe Hockey. “Joe is a man with big humour and big passions. We have all enjoyed that,” Morrison said. “Joe and I particularly enjoyed our rivalry over the Southern Districts Sydney university Rugby challenges.”
“The one I think we enjoyed most is the one where Joe and I had made a bet on how many times he could say ‘Captain Emad’ in addresses to this House,” he continued. “There was a bottle of red on the back of that — and Joe more than fulfilled, in that respect.”
2006 — 2010: Proudly Backs The Western Bulldogs
When it comes to AFL, all the flip-flopping isn’t much different. Back in 2006, ScoMo proudly listed the Western Bulldogs as the only team he backed on his CV. Morrison tweeted multiple times about the Dogs between 2009 to 2010, too.
says why the dogs and not the swans. because rodney eade sparked my interest in the great game #afl and loyalty counts
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) September 11, 2009
In 2009, Morrison said he backed the Dogs and not the Swans because Rodney Eade “sparked his interest” and because “loyalty counts”. That same year he tweeted out the lyrics to the Bulldogs team song, and shared that he was “thonking” [sic] about Julia Gillard also being a Doggies fan. In 2010, he tweeted out a simple “Go Dogs“.
is not thonking about the fact that Julia Gillard is also a dogs fan. they say you should always look for the good in people
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) September 11, 2009
2018: Asks Comedian To Pick An AFL Team For Him And Backs “Perth” To Win Grand Final
Despite apparently being fiercely loyal to the Western Bulldogs since 2006, ScoMo asked Peter Helliar to “find” him an AFL team in 2018. Acting like he hadn’t publicly spoken about the Doggies multiple times, ScoMo told Melbourne MP Tim Wilson that he “didn’t have a team, as you know”.
“I wish the Demons well this weekend… I don’t have an AFL team as you know,” Morrison told Wilson. “But this weekend, when it comes to Melbourne, my Sharks will be playing them in the NRL.”
— Tim Wilson MP (@TimWilsonMP) September 18, 2018
Apparently, all that “loyalty” that “counted” back in 2009 was starting to fade away — so much so that the Prime Minister even decided to back “Perth” to win the 2018 AFL grand final over Collingwood.
Perth, famously, isn’t a team in the AFL. But in 2018, Western Australia was more important than Victoria in the next federal election so it made sense to side with Western Australia, according to Junkee’s own Rob Stott.
2019: Reiterates That He Doesn’t Have A AFL Team, Shows His Loyalty Is Up For Grabs
After telling Tim Wilson that he “didn’t have a team” in 2018, ScoMo drummed that point home again during a radio interview with Melbourne’s 3AW the following year.
After 3AW host Tony Jones shared that he got the sense that the Prime Minister might be jumping on the Collingwood train, Morrison again shared that he has no team. “I don’t have a team. My team is the Cronulla Sharks up in Sydney,” the Prime Minister said despite publicly backing the Western Bulldogs for at least four years.
“I like AFL but I am not a phony. I am not going to go around pretending I am something I am not,” he continued. “I grew up in New South Wales, a suburban boy. I have been following that code ever since I was a kid…I am who I am. I like going [to the AFL], I really enjoy it. But you know when I back something, I’m all in,” he ended his comments.
“I am never going to be something I am not. I am not going to be inauthentic, what you see is what you get.”
So there you have it: A full history of Scott Morrison’s inability to be loyal to anything — including insignificant things like sporting teams. Who would’ve thought Scott Morrison would conveniently backflip on his own interests for political gain? Probably everyone.
Michelle Rennex is a senior writer at Junkee. She tweets at @michellerennex.