The lasting impact of Nicky Winmar’s stance against racism is celebrated in an AFL documentary released on Wednesday.
It came on the same day Collingwood faces further criticism for their handling of claims of racism within the club.
Unveiling and Icon unpacks Winmar’s iconic gesture facing a Victoria Park crowd, pulling up his guernsey and proudly pointing to his skin.
Almost 29 years on the image endures as a defining moment in the AFL’s history.
Despite the moments status, Winmar said it brings difficult memories, the result of an afternoon facing extraordinary racial abuse from the Collingwood fanbase at the game.
“That day was the worst day of my life,” he said.
Winmar was the first Indigenous footballer to reach 200 AFL games, and has served as an inspiration for many following his career.
The Noongar man’s story is joined by personal accounts of racial discrimination felt by fellow First Nations footballers Adam Goodes, Michael O’Laughlin, Andrew Krakouer and former teammate Gilbert McAdam.
The contributions of Indigenous players to the game and their place within it are detailed throughout.
AFL Inclusion and Social Policy executive general manager Tanya Hosch said moments like Winmar’s transcend the game.
“Its amazing how the sporting context can shine a light on racism that people will walk past in other contexts every day,” she said.
“And I think that that is one of the things that make its powerful and has made it memorable, but then its reach goes well beyond sport..
“It goes well into the social fabric of the nation.”
The feature is bookmarked by the creation process and unveiling of a statue immortalising Winmar, placed outside Optus stadium in his home state of WA in 2019.
Unveiling the Icon is available to stream online at AFL.com.au