Search Browse On This Day Map Quotations Timeline Research Free Datasets Remembered About Contact

Singer abused at NZ vs Aus basketball game

Tue 18 Aug 2015 In: International News

A gay Australian opera singer has sparked a rainbow tie campaign after a crowd member shouted he was a “faggot” for wearing one, after he sang the national anthems at the New Zealand vs Australia basketball game over the weekend. Kanen Breen wore the tie at the Melbourne game to protest Australia’s lack of movement on marriage equality, saying “I wore it quite deliberately whilst singing about a nation that purports to be free and fair in a flamboyant little protest.” Breen co-parents with best friend and fellow Australian opera singer Jacqui Dark, who has made a passionate and stinging post on Facebook about the incident, sparking a rainbow tie campaign. “He nailed the anthem. He looked fantastic. He also wore a snazzy rainbow tie to show his support for marriage equality, an issue on which the government of this country is embarrassingly backward. He finished and stepped back to rousing applause. The applause died down and a solitary, angry male voice in the crowd yelled ‘faggot!’,” she writes. “I am beyond stunned by this. Beyond hurt and beyond angry.” Dark says Breen took it in his stride. “The sad conclusion I have reached is that he can accept it because it happens to him every day. Every. Day. Stop to consider that – imagine that every time you leave the house, you’re resigned to the fact that you’ll cop abuse from complete strangers. “That you could be standing in a silence in front of 15 000 people – the most vulnerable a performer will ever be – and be shot down by a pathetic, cowardly word.” Dark says the heckler is an embarrassment, as is everyone in the crowd who didn’t shout him down. “People ask why we need marriage equality in this country and say there are bigger issues to deal with. This. This is why we need equality. Because neanderthal bullies like this still exist, some of them wearing business suits and responsible for running countries.”      

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Tuesday, 18th August 2015 - 8:56am

Rights Information

This page displays a version of a article that was automatically harvested before the website closed. All of the formatting and images have been removed and some text content may not have been fully captured correctly. The article is provided here for personal research and review and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of If you have queries or concerns about this article please email us