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‘Black and proud’: remembering the day Nicky Winmar changed footy | Jonathan Horn

The player’s defiant gesture at Victoria Park 25 years ago also changed the country that obsesses over AFL

In 1993 it was the international year of the world’s Indigenous peoples. The Australian High Court had recently abolished the legal fiction of terra nullius. An Indigenous man had just been named Australian of the Year. A few months earlier, Paul Keating had delivered the Redfern Address. “Imagine if our feats on sporting fields had inspired admiration and patriotism and yet did nothing to diminish prejudice,” he said.

Many insist that Australian rules football reached its zenith in 1993. Up to a dozen teams were in premiership contention. Wayne Carey took the competition by storm. Gary Ablett booted 124 goals from 17 matches. In Adelaide, Tony Modra was permanently perched on defenders’ heads.

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