US rapper Macklemore has responded to the controversy over his performance at the NRL Grand Final, saying he has received hate from "angry, old white dudes".
Macklemore, who will perform at the NRL Grand Final at Sydney's ANZ Stadium on Sunday, is getting flak on two fronts.
The North Queensland Cowboys say they have been dudded out of holding their final training session of the week because the NRL has reserved the stadium to run through a dress rehearsal of the Thrift Shop artist's act.
He's also now been accused of "politicising" the game just by performing one of his biggest hits.
Macklemore plans to perform his ARIA chart topping song Same Love as part of his set.
The hit song is unashamedly about marriage equality and its performance comes in the midst of Australia's heated debate on the same issue.
Singer Mary Lambert, who shared vocals on the track, has said she is "so excited" about flying to Australia to reunite with Macklemore to perform the 2012 song.
But a Change.org petition has been started by ex-NRL player Tony Wall demanding the "LGBTIQ anthem" not be played and that "LGBTIQ politics is taken out of the NRL".
Wall played 10 games for Western Suburbs in 1995.
He said playing Same Love was a "bold political stance" and his family would feel "uncomfortable" at the footy.
"As a No voter it will be very difficult to watch the NRL Grand Final with my wife and five young children as the event will be heavily politicised," he wrote.
Mr Wall has found backing from former PM and prominent No campaigner Tony Abbott who tweeted his support for the petition.
The Coalition for Marriage said team flags "not rainbow flags" should be flown at the Grand Final.
Spokesman David Goodwin said it was "pretty bizarre that the NRL would choose to use its halftime entertainment to push a message which it knows millions of Australians disagree with."
But there would be some pretty annoyed fans if he left it off the set list given the song is one of Macklemore's biggest. It reached number one on the ARIA charts in 2012 and was the year's 14 biggest selling pop song in Australia.
Ahead of flying out to Sydney, Macklemore addressed the issue when interviewed by US radio show The Cruz Show.
"I'm actually going out to Australia to perform at kind of the Super Bowl of their rugby league," the rapper said.
"And it's interesting actually cause I'm gonna play Same Love and they're going through trying to legalise same-sex marriage in Australia.
"So I'm getting a lot of tweets from angry old white dudes in Australia. Today I think there is a petition to ban me from playing.
"It's interesting times in Australia and I'm heading on a flight over there later tonight."
The interviewer then says Macklemore needs to "go harder" in response to the criticism.
"I'm gonna go harder," he said.