"I am black and I am proud" - Nicky Winmar
Stood up and pointed out, Beautiful footballer, Noongar Man.
17 April 1993 - the day Nicky Winmar change football forever.
Nicky Winmar had a blitzing day on the field. He had kicked the deciding goal in front of very hostile and abusive crowd.
The siren rang and as the racial abuse was being spat over the fence at him, Winmar blew kisses, 'mooned' and then performed one of the most iconic acts of Indigenous defiance and pride in Australian football history, in fact in Australian history.
He stood straight up, jumper pulled to expose his black tummy, and pointed his finger to his skin - "I am black and I am proud".
The now iconic photo hit the front page the following day, amid other news about Rodney King's case in the US and race riots in South Africa. It shook a nation. It reverberated everywhere.
Winmar was silenced, not allowed to speak about it to the media by his club. He received death threats and constant attacks for 'stepping out of line'.
But his moment of defiance and pride changed the conversation in Australia, it shone a very bright spotlight on systemic racism in Australian sport. It showed Aboriginal pride.
The aftermath is horrible to read. Winmar and his fellow indigneous teammates continued to be racial vilified, most notably resulting in one of Australia's most disturbing television moments ever. Winmar did not show for a television spot, so one of the white hosts decided to dress up as Winmar in black face. An act so abhorent and thoughtless.
Winmar went on to be the first Indigenous player to play over 200 AFL games. He is revered as one of the most talented players to play the sport, particularly being able to play both sides.
The iconic photo now hangs in galleries and takes pride of place at AFL HQ. The moment has also now been captured in a statue.
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