Former Aussie rugby player David Pocock reveals political pressure

Source: Q and A

Once upon a time he ran hard at the defensive line, but now former Wallabies captain David Pocock is running hard for a seat in the Australian senate.

David Pocock on the campaign trail.

He’s standing for one of two spots representing the Australian Capital Territory, on a platform of climate action and restoring integrity to politics.

Pocock regularly made conscience stands during his playing days, and revealed “people in Rugby Australia” put pressure on him to keep his views to himself.

“You cop it from rugby supporters who don't share your view telling you to stick to sport and that sports and politics don't mix. You know, I think sport has a long history of actually being part of social change,” Pocock told Q+A.

Pocock, running as an independent candidate, said he did not believe current Prime Minister Scott Morrison is a person of integrity “based on comments from those close to him”.

“It seems like he will do whatever is politically expedient and is fairly loose with the truth,” he said.

“Trust in politics is at an all-time low, and it seems like it's being intentionally undercut. We have to turn that around.”

In a memorable protest during his career, Pocock chained himself to a digger to hold up work on a new coal mine in New South Wales.

He said that according to the science, Australia is in line to suffer harsh consequences from climate change, including some effects that are already being seen in extreme weather.

Pocock said the incumbent Australian government is seen as a laggard by the international community, and voters want more action.

“The vast majority of Australians now want more ambitious climate action. The vast majority of coalition voters, voters who align themselves with the current government, want more action.”

The election will take place on May 21, with Morrison’s Liberal-National coalition under pressure to hold office from Labor, led by MP Anthony Albanese.