Same-sex marriage: Australia's top athletes band together for 'Yes' video


A group of Australia's highest profile athletes have thrown their support behind the 'Yes' campaign for same-sex marriage in a series of short videos.

20Four, a sports media company, has put together a series of short videos from athletes issuing a short message of support for marriage equality.

The video shows 16 athletes from a range of sports including NRL's Benji Marshall, AFL stars Dyson Heppell and Dan Hannebery, Rugby Sevens' Ellia Green, Olympic swimming gold medallist Emma McKeon and pro surfer Laura Enever, beckoning the public to support marriage equality.

Despite most athletes supporting same-sex marriage, Israel Folau has stood firm in his opposition after he copped social media backlash in September.

"I love and respect all people for who they are and their opinions. But personally, I will not support gay marriage," he tweeted.

Acknowledging his view on same-sex marriage for the first time since his tweet, the Wallabies fullback defended his right to an opinion and said that nothing had changed.

Folau's stance was also defended back in September by Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, who said his players had the right to their opinion.

The 20Four video follows a fervent public debate to whether sport should be used as a platform for political messages after US rapper Macklemore performed his same-sex marriage hit 'Same Love' at the NRL Grand Final.

Sporting organisations including the NRL, AFL, Australian Rugby Union, Cricket Australia and the Football Federation Australia have all come out to throw their support behind the 'Yes' campaign in the wake of the same-sex marriage postal survey.

The AFL controversially changed its sign on its headquaters to 'YES' after CEO Gillon McLachlan said the move showed what the sport stood for as a brand.

Tensions mounted after the NRL announced Macklemore would be performing at the NRL Grand Final and that one of his songs would be his marriage equality hit 'Same Love'.

Macklemore's hit 'Same Love' was recorded during the campaign to legalise same-sex marriage in Washington State in 2012.

However, former prime minister Tony Abbott feverishly defended the 'No' campaign in the lead up to the NRL Grand Final performance claiming fans of sport should not have political messages shoved down their throat.

"Footy fans shouldn't be subjected to a politicised grand final. Sport is sport," Mr Abbott wrote.

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