Legendary racing figure, Larry Perkins, has made public his intentions to rescind his membership with Motorsport Australia, amid controversy surrounding the organisation's endorsement of the Yes vote.
Following in the footsteps of significant sporting bodies such as the AFL and NRL, Motorsport Australia recently voiced its support for the cause. The organisation declared via LinkedIn:
"Motorsport Australia is honoured to unite with other major sports entities in Australia to advocate constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians via the Voice Referendum."
The group further highlighted the uniting power of sports, transcending identity, race, and background. They stated their vision for "an inclusive future that welcomes all Australians, both within sports and the larger Australian community."
Perkins, an inductee of the Motorsport Australia Hall of Fame, has taken issue with this stance.
He expressed his dissent during a recent broadcast of Melbourne's 3AW talkback radio show. Perkins maintained that while he has no objections to supporting a referendum, he believes it is inappropriate for Motorsport Australia to openly take a stance.
Arguing that the subject is inherently divisive, Perkins said:
"It's a contentious subject from the outset; it's now split along racial lines and it will not benefit the Indigenous population in any tangible way. To be frank, they already have significant influence over most of what transpires in Australia, and they can be elected just like anyone else. Indeed, they are elected just like everyone else."
In regards to his proposed action against his MA membership, Perkins explained:
"I have tried reaching out to them today to inform them that this is the step I will take in protest against them adopting this political position."
He highlighted that Motorsport Australia has proudly maintained a non-political stance for 70 years, with politics strictly off-limits in relation to race cars.
However, he fears this norm has been overturned. Perkins, a member for over five decades, questioned the potential implications of this change, asking, "What's the next issue they'll take a stance on?"
Meanwhile, next month will witness the annual Indigenous Round at the Darwin Triple Crown, organised by Supercars.