Tennis legend Pat Cash says he is 'embarrassed to be Australian' over celebrating the national holiday of what he called 'Invasion Day'

Why tennis legend Pat Cash won’t celebrate Australia Day

Tennis legend Pat Cash says he is ’embarrassed to be Australian’ and refuses to celebrate the national holiday he calls ‘Invasion Day’.

The 52-year-old former Wimbledon champion told Today he won’t acknowledge the day on January 26 after he was reduced to tears when working with Aboriginal charities and confronted by the reality of their injustices.

‘I was out of the country for 30 years I had no idea how bad the situation is,’ Cash said on Sunday morning.

‘I’ve got to say I was embarrassed to be Australian, I was shocked. It was mind-blowing. I was in tears half the time seeing the poverty and the situation these people are in.’

Tennis legend Pat Cash says he is 'embarrassed to be Australian' over celebrating the national holiday of what he called 'Invasion Day'

Tennis legend Pat Cash says he is ’embarrassed to be Australian’ over celebrating the national holiday of what he called ‘Invasion Day’

The 52-year-old former Wimbledon champion told Today he refused to celebrate the day on January 26 after he was reduced to tears when working with Aboriginal charities

The 52-year-old former Wimbledon champion told Today he refused to celebrate the day on January 26 after he was reduced to tears when working with Aboriginal charities

Cash said his work with indigenous charity Children's Ground , which was encouraged by his niece, made it impossible for him to recognise the day as it 'changed my life'

Cash said his work with indigenous charity Children’s Ground , which was encouraged by his niece, made it impossible for him to recognise the day as it ‘changed my life’

Cash said his work with indigenous charity Children’s Ground, which was encouraged by his niece, made it impossible for him to recognise the day as it ‘changed my life’.

‘As an Australian who brought two Davis Cups home, representing my country, January 26 is not a day of celebration for me. People who really look into it would question that.

‘That is not going to be a celebration for me, it’s like an Invasion Day, celebrating white England, English landing.’

An impassioned Cash said it was ‘very, very upsetting’ how much the system has ‘failed’ Aboriginal people.

He says he met the traditional land owner of Alice Springs, Felicity Hayes, who lives in a caravan with no electricity and water, and now is only angered by ‘Invasion Day’.

‘I saw these sheds out the back and thought: “what are these, tool sheds?” They were corrugated-iron sheds where her family lived.

‘They moved out because they shut the water off. Why did the government shut the water off? Because they wanted to put solar panels all over her land, they wanted to push her out.

‘I just got to the stage now where I cannot celebrate Australia Day.’

An impassioned Cash said it was 'very, very upsetting' how much the system has 'failed' Aboriginal people

An impassioned Cash said it was ‘very, very upsetting’ how much the system has ‘failed’ Aboriginal people

'As an Australian who brought two Davis Cups home, representing my country, January 26 is not a day of celebration for me. People who really look into it would question that'

‘As an Australian who brought two Davis Cups home, representing my country, January 26 is not a day of celebration for me. People who really look into it would question that’

The issue has become a topic of debate both for politicians and citizens, with people seemingly split on whether to change the controversial date.

Triple J took matters into their own hands, moving their popular Hottest 100 to the last Saturday of every January.

It will be on January 27 this year and awkwardly will fall on Australia Day in 2019.

Posted on; DailyMail>>

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