1993: Winmar made headlines and created an iconic image when he reacted to overt racism from some of the Collingwood crowd at Victoria Park at the end of a game between St Kilda and Collingwood. He turned to face the offending segments of the crowd, lifted his guernsey and defiantly pointed to his skin.At the time Winmar felt his gesture was meant to show he had ‘guts’ in facing up to the racial taunts, but the image of a proud Aboriginal man showing off his brown skin to counter racist taunts from the crowd was exceptionally powerful. (wikipedia)
this moment kind of encapsulates why I will always, always side-eye lefties who make sweeping dismissals of australian rules football. such dismissal is the most transparent cultural cringe, plus it’s often tied up with really foul attitudes towards working class and Indigenous people, overrepresented both in the fanbase and at the highest levels of achievement in the sport.
it was the grand final today, collingwood v. geelong. my mum recently decided that she supported collingwood because widely-held anti-collingwood sentiments are partly grounded in their history as a working-class team. (not being originally from melbourne, she has the level of distance needed to actually decide who to support.) I said well, yes, perhaps, but their working class connections are tenous as fuck by now and also she’s lived in footscray for over twenty years, which is an actually working-class suburb with quite a good football team. plus collingwood seem to me to be one of the teams with the most toxic attitude towards women, with many rape allegations being directed at collingwood players in the past few years. I supported Geelong, who won. but I mean they’re all suss as fuck. I remember a case a few years ago where a woman died under mysterious circumstances in a Geelong player’s apartment.
so I dunno. it’s all super complicated and painful and messy. but I think I want to keep more of an eye on football next season.