An epic battle over a proposed Nicky Winmar statue is currently taking place between two AFL mad cities.
Nicky Winmar is one of AFL’s most iconic players. His most famous moment was when he stood tall in front of a racist Melbourne crowd, lifted up his playing jumper and declared “I’m black and I’m proud to be black”. That polarising moment in 1993 will forever go down in history. Soon people will be able to see a larger than life bronze statue of Nicky Winmar.
The only question now is where the statue will be placed? The original crowd funding campaign to get a statue in honour of Winmar was started by Melbourne based AFL fans who hoped to one day see the statue standing tall in the AFL capital. Since then, the AFL got involved with planning and funding the project and it now appears that the statue is destined for Perth at the brand new Optus stadium.
Even though Winmar played the majority of his games for St Kilda, Winmar will always be a Noongar man from W.A. It will be in Perth that the next generation of Winmars and many other Indigenous youths will be inspired by the football great.
Did you know that Nicky Winmar was the first Indigenous footballer to reach the 250 game mark? He also won two best and fairest awards during his time at St Kilda from 1987 to 1998. Winmar’s polarising moment came after the siren of St Kilda’s first victory over Collingwood in more than 20 years.
For the people of Melbourne who are feeling a bit shortchanged by the decision, we have a solution for you. Why not have two?
The first statue is set to be unveiled before the end of 2018.
Would you like to see more Indigenous statues in Australia’s cities? Check out our Top 10 wishlist here.