Controversial former boxer Anthony Mundine has come under fire after urging parents not to vaccinate their kids in a shocking social media post.
The outspoken sports star, 43, surprised his fans on Wednesday when he shared a video called the ‘vaccine agenda’ on his Facebook page, before accusing the government of “bullying” parents into vaccinating their kids against potentially deadly diseases.
He wrote alongside the clip “Don’t vaccine your kids period! (sic) The government bully (sic) you into vaccine! Do your research on the (sic) s**t & watched (sic) the documentary vaxxed.”
The post was referencing a controversial anti-vaccination film by deregistered doctor Andrew Wakefield, who previously started the anti-vaxx movement after sharing research claiming to link the MMR vaccine to autism. However, it was later found to be fake.
The World Health Organisation previously said the 1998 study was found to be “seriously flawed and fraudulent” in a statement online, and the journal that initially published it then went on to retract the study.
Mundine has since come under fire from politicians and parents, with Health Minister Greg Hunt urging people to ignore his comments.
“I have no time for anti-vaxxers and the message they are sending is extremely dangerous,” Hunt told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
“This includes high-profile individuals who spread dangerous information about vaccines on social media. The science is in – vaccines works. They save and protect lives.”
Meanwhile, a grieving father who lost his baby son to deadly meningococcal meningitis told Ben Fordham’s 2GB show that the retired boxer should “stick to what he knows”.
He added on air: “I don’t know as much about vaccinations as Anthony Mundine, but I lost my one-year-old son to meningococcal meningitis. My wife’s a nurse and my view is that any sensible adult, if they’re interested in the welfare of their children, ought to get their children vaccinated.
“It changes your life and I just think that people fear many things in life, and I think the fear of a pinprick is nothing compared with the fear of losing a child.”
Fordham himself then hit out at Mundine, adding: “It’s very dangerous, Anthony, when you use your public profile to spread BS about topics you know precious little about. I think you should shut up for a while.”
Many of Mundine’s followers condemned his words on Twitter, with one writing: “A boxer probably isn’t the best go-to for medical advice,” while another added: “Mate I work with young people living with disabilities. Some of these are profoundly impaired as a result of diseases which could have been prevented by vaccination. This tweet could result in the death of a child or severe disability. Pull your head in.”