In This Round…Round 4

By Tom Briglia

On the Thursday of each week of St Kilda’s season, we take a stroll down memory lane and take a look at memorable clash in St Kilda history from the corresponding round.

Collingwood vs St Kilda, Round 4, 1993
Collingwood 3.3, 8.10, 11.11, 15.14 (104)
St Kilda 2.4, 7.8, 14.15, 18.18 (126)
Crowd: 28,350 at Victoria Park

The fact that St Kilda won their first game at Victoria Park for 17 years was overshadowed by what would prove to be a famous moment in the game’s history.

After being the subject of racial abuse by a number of Collingwood fans throughout the game, a victorious Nicky Winmar would lift up his guernsey and point to his bare torso as a sign of defiance and a bold display of proudness of his aboriginal heritage. “I’m proud to be black”, he yelled to the crowd.

The photo taken by Wayne Ludbey of The Sunday Age has become one of the most iconic images in the game, and Australian sport overall. It has become a symbol of a change in attitudes – in public arenas, at least – of indigenous Australians held by white Australians. After Essendon raised complaints two years later about Collingwood’s Damian Monkhorst racially abusing indigenous player Michael Long on the field, the AFL stepped in and established a players’ Code of Conduct which banned the use of racial slurs on the field, with much owed to Winmar’s act for giving the notion of an anti-vilification rule serious momentum.

A Sunday Age players’ survery in 1992 has found that 36 per cent of players admitted to racially abusing another player during a game; a lot changed quickly due to a moment like this.

Fittingly, Winmar and fellow indigenous Saint Gilbert McAdam were the best in the hard-fought victory, with Winmar racking up 25 touches, laying seven tackles and kicking a goal, whilst McAdam would kick five lethal goals of his own from his 21 possessions.

For a brilliant essay on the photo and its effect on race relations in Australia, please do read “That picture: Nicky Winmar and the history of an image”, written by Matthew Klugman and Gary Osmond, and published last year in Australian Aboriginal Studies.

Other installments of “In This Round”:
3 – St Kilda vs Collingwood, Waverley, 1997
Round 2 – St Kilda vs Carlton, Moorabbin, 1989
Round 1 – St Kilda vs Geelong, Telstra Dome, 2004
NAB Cup Grand Final – St Kilda vs Carlton, Waverley, 1996
NAB Cup Semi-Final – Essendon vs St Kilda, Telstra Dome, 2008
NAB Cup Round 2 – St Kilda vs Carlton, Waverley, 1995
NAB Cup Round 1 – Collingwood vs St Kilda, Telstra Dome, 2006