• The statue will be revealed on July 6 at Perth's Optus Stadium. (Nicky Winmar)Source: Nicky Winmar
A campaign is underway to honour former AFL player, Nicky Winmar's iconic stand against racism with a statue.
25 May 2017 - 2:11 PM  UPDATED 25 May 2017 - 2:43 PM

On April 22, 1993, St. Kilda footballer Nicky Winmar stood up defiantly against racism. After winning the game, he turned to the crowd, pulled his jumper up to point at the colour of his skin, and yelled back:

'I’m black and I’m proud.'

To this day, his powerful stance is considered a pivotal point, not just for Australian football, but for Australia's history in Closing the Gap for First Nations people.

The iconic stand against racism was captured by Veteran photographer Wayne Ludbey and the very next day it was splashed across the front page of The Age - soon to become one of the most famous in Australian sporting history.

Winmar's defiance and the stand taken by Essendon star Michael Long two years later proved turning points in the AFL's attitude towards racism.

'I saw it once and I thought they were just mucking around', Winmar told Fox Footy about the statue project.

"If it happens, I'm proud to be a part of that. The family and the grandkids are coming through as well - they'd probably go around and see it one day."

"That time, that moment, it was right for someone like myself - and Michael (Long) as well - to make a stand for our Indigenous kids coming through."

2017 will mark the 25th anniversary of the moment where Winmar made this public statement representing he is an Aboriginal sportsman; That he is human.

The crowd funding campaign driven by Alex Wadelton, aims to make Winmar's iconic pose stand proud and strong forever. A bold and bright message for the future generations.

Wadelton wrote an Indigenous Round commercial for the AFL voiced by Adam Goodes, that saw Indigenous footballers Lindsay Thomas, Shaun Burgoyne, Patrick Ryder, and Andrew Walker re-enact Nicky Winmar's iconic stance.

Once enough funds are raised, the plan is for the bronze sculpture to be created by renowned artist Louis Laumen, in the Victoria Park precinct. 

This wouldn't be the first time Laumen's honoured Australian sporting legends in Melbourne. Look around the MCG and you will see a series of his artworks- from Leigh Matthews, to Ron Barassi, to Bill Woodfull, to Shirley Strickland. 

The fundraising drive was publicised a day out from the start of the league's annual Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous round.

Winmar will be at Saturday's Etihad Stadium match between the Western Bulldogs and St Kilda. A special game seeing he made his big break with the Saints 30 years ago and ended it in 1999 with one season at the Bulldogs.

The former star looks healthy, despite ongoing heart problems after he suffered a heart attack five years ago.

"I'm alright - I still have ... shortness of breath every now and again and the symptoms are still hanging around," he said.

"You don't know whether it's going to happen again or not - the doctors told me it will happen again, but don't know when.

Winmar hopes the Bulldogs-Saints game can become an annual Indigenous round match that is used to promote cardiac health.

"It's just awareness, (among) the Indigenous people out there in the community, to make sure they have their regular check-ups.

"With the game this week ... it would be good to have that every year in the Indigenous round, so that we can (promote) with the heart foundation as well."

Watch The Marngrook Footy Show this Thursday from 7.30pm, live on NITV (CH34) for more AFL news.

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