Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Nicky Winmar moment and after

It was supposed to be a defining moment in Australian sport which made a dent on racism in sport. It happened
twenty years ago: shown at the beginning of this video and is being celebrated with an exhibition. More here:
"At half-time in the reserves, the pair emerged from the visitors' change rooms, down the players' race, to familiarise McAdam with what was then the most hostile territory for opposing clubs in Australian football.

The race was next to the area occupied by the fanatical Collingwood cheer squad and the racial abuse hurled at the two Aboriginal players from the moment they emerged was so offensive that, two decades on, McAdam still can't bring himself to repeat it. ''I don't want to say what it was, but it was full-on,'' is how he puts it. ''I'll just say that it was racial and it was bad - it was terrible.
''We just looked at each other and, whether it was me or him, just basically said to each other, 'We're not going to put up with this crap! Let's get out there today and run amok. Let's get first and second best on ground.' And it was funny. It turned out that way and we won the game, which was the most important thing.''
When the siren sounded, and an undermanned St Kilda recorded its first win at the ground in almost two decades, Winmar found himself near the Collingwood cheer squad, and instinctively, spontaneously, raised his arms over his head before lifting his St Kilda guernsey, pointed to his bare brown skin and declared: ''I'm black - and I'm proud to be black!''
As some in the crowd responded with yet more abuse, a defiant Winmar blew a few kisses before jogging to the middle of the ground in and hugging McAdam."
A few years earlier, I went to watch an Australian rules football match and did not like what I heard and never went to see a football match again. So, I do not know whether Winmar;s gesture helped.

Writing about the perceptions after the attacks on Indian students Bruised reputation has not recovered.

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