Nicky Winmar is exhausted. For months, he has been dreading this anniversary. He schemed about how he could avoid the fuss, dodge the media, or somehow wish the events of 30 years ago away.
But there’s no getting around it. Now he’s doing his best to embrace the moment. Tomorrow, April 17, marks the day in 1993 that the St Kilda legend turned and lifted his jumper to a feral Collingwood crowd who had been racially sledging him, and pointed to his skin.
“I’m proud to be black,” he fired back at the mob.
His team had prevailed. Winmar had kicked the sealer, storming through traffic at full tilt to intercept and slotting a goal from outside 50 metres. His Indigenous teammate Gilbert McAdam had kicked another five. And Sunday Age photographer Wayne Ludbey had captured the moment that froze Winmar in the public eye forever.
That public image has been a heavy burden to carry. A statue of Winmar, striking the pose that landed him on the front page of the paper the next morning, now stands outside Optus Stadium in Perth. But Neil Elvis “Nicky” Winmar the man is no statue.
“I did get tired after that game.… Read more..