It’s one of the most iconic photos in Australian sporting history.
During an AFL match at Victoria Park in 1993, St Kilda footballer Nicky Winmar — after copping relentless verbal abuse from the Collingwood spectators — lifted up his jersey and pointed at his skin.
Winmar stared into the crowd, defiantly displaying his Aboriginal heritage for all to see, shouting, “I’m black and I’m proud to be black”.
It was a powerful moment, and proved a turning point for racial discrimination in Australian sport.
Winmar’s protest was immortalised in a statue outside the newly-developed Optus Stadium last year.
The iconic momentSource:News Corp Australia
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Fast forward 27 years to Saturday evening’s NRL All Stars match on the Gold Coast, Indigenous winger Josh Addo-Carr recreated the iconic moment, holding up his jersey after his team’s war cry.
Minutes before kick off, Addo-Carr confidently pointed at his chest, yelling into the crowd.
Love that from Josh Addo-Carr Carr
Josh Addo-Carr invoking Nicky Winmar. Bloody great stuff. Goosebumps.
Former Sydney Swans player Adam Goodes also replicated the image in 2013. Two years later, the two-time Brownlow medallist retired after AFL crowds relentlessly booed him.
Adam Goodes in 2013Source:News Corp Australia
Led by NRL superstar Latrell Mitchell, the Indigenous All Stars’ stirring war dance on Saturday evening was passionate and emotion-driven.
Wielding boomerangs and spears, the team slowly approached their opposition in unison, before meeting at the halftime line and performing the hongi, a traditional Maori greeting where noses touch.
NRL ALL STARS: LIVE BLOG
All right boys, we probably don’t even need a footy game after that spectacle. The war cries are enough. So good. #NRLAllstars
Latrell, Josh Addo-Carr, Adam Blair. And everyone. ?????????? #NRLAllStars
“What a mind-blowing show of passion,” Fox League commentator Andrew Voss said while Midnight Oil’s “Beds Are Burning” blared from the stadium’s speakers.
“But at the end of it all, what wonderful respect between cultures.”
If only the Gold Coast spectators could show the same respect.
During a moment’s silence before the match — in remembrance of lives lost in the stolen generation — multiple members of the crowd deemed it the appropriate time to yelp and scream.
Indigenous All Stars captain Joel Thompson was shown shaking his head in bitter disappointment.
Sadly, this was nothing new for Thompson and his teammates.
2DayFM radio DJ Mike Christian tweeted, “You have to be a special kind of f***wit to yell out during a minute’s silence at a sporting event.”
After consulting multiple Indigenous rugby league players, it was decided no national anthems were played before Saturday’s match. Mitchell praised the decision, calling it “a step in the right direction”.
However, journalist Paul Kent wrote in The Daily Telegraph the anthem’s removal means the game will “no longer be a celebration, but a protest match”.
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