In a week where Indigenous dads have been in the spotlight, one Aboriginal father and son have come together to call out discrimination.
By
NITV News

11 Aug 2016 - 4:29 PM  UPDATED 11 Aug 2016 - 4:29 PM

The son of St Kilda great Nicky Winmar has spoken publicly about coming out as a gay man, and his father couldn't be more proud.

The pair have shared their story ahead of the AFL's inaugural Pride Game this weekend.

23 years ago, Nicky Winmar stood up against racism. The image of that moment would become an icon of black pride.

Now his son Tynan is making a stand of his own - this time against homophobia.

"That photo changed a lot of things with my life, it definitely is a big part of my life and I embrace it everyday so I just hope that this has the same effect," Tynan said. 

The 28-year-old was nervous coming out to his dad two years ago, but says it's helped make their relationship stronger than ever.

"You've just got to be confident with who you are, just embrace who you are, and at the end of the day you will persevere and you'll find people that support and love you at the end of the day."

"I was more concerned, with my dad being the successful footballer that he was, that he was going to be resentful towards it and everything like that. But as soon as I told him, this weight had lifted off my shoulders and he was very supportive of it, and he's embraced me ever since then," he said.

Nicky Winmar says he was not always there for his son but he couldnt be more proud of him now. 

"I wasn't there for all his life when he was growing up, but to be a part of it now makes me really proud of him."

The pair have shared their story in the lead up to the AFL's first pride game, held to raise awareness about homophobia in sport.

It's hoped the initiative will send a clear message to gay athletes.

Dr Bruce Bolam from VIC Health Promotion Foundation says this kind of message is beneficial for the whole community.  

"That it's safe to play sport, we welcome and celebrate diversity in sport, and that's good for our health and the health of the whole community."

Nicky says the discrimination towards the gay community is not unlike that experienced by Indigenous footy players during his career.

"I think a lot of guys may not be here today, so it's very important that these kids in the next generation are supported by everybody, because in the end we are all human."

His son now taking up the fight, and leading by his father's example.

"You've just got to be confident with who you are, just embrace who you are, and at the end of the day you will persevere and you'll find people that support and love you at the end of the day," Tynan said.

Catch Nicky Winmar live on tonight’s episode of the Marngrook Footy Show at 7.30pm AEST on NITV