AFL icon Nicky Winmar to support LGBTIQ rights with son at Pride Game

WINMAR

Nicky Winmar in 1993

Indigenous AFL star Nicky Winmar is proud to be attending this weekend’s AFL Pride Game between the Sydney Swans and his former team St Kilda, along with his gay son Tynan.

Winmar made Australian sporting history not only as an exceptional player, but when in 1993 he took a stand against racism during a match in Victoria Park – halting play to point to his skin in response to racist remarks being hurled from the stands. Now Winmar continues to rail against discrimination in sport, celebrating the first official Pride match to raise awareness of homophobia and transphobia in sport.

Winmar’s son Tynan told media on Thursday that he only just two years ago attempted to reconnect with his father, coming out as gay for the first time.

“I was definitely a little bit nervous because it is a very personal experience, and every one deals with the situation differently,” Tynan said.

“I was concerned with my dad being the successful footballer that he was sort of going to be resentful towards it. But as soon as I told him, this weight lifted off my shoulders, and he was very supportive of it, and he’s embraced me every since then.”

Nicky told the media he is proud to stand with his son, but there were challenges on the road to building their relationship.

“It was hard at first, but we’ve got to be there for our families and friends, and I think it’s very important that we’ve done this,” Nicky told media.

“I am proud of standing up for my colour and culture and I’m glad my son is standing up for his gayness as well.”

Nicky says he has reflected on his past in the AFL, wondering how many players during his time had struggled with their sexuality.

“We had a lot of racism back then, and I think gay stuff was there as well. And I think a lot of guys may not be here today [because of the discrimination]. It’s very important that these kids are in the next generation, because in the end, we are all human.”

Both Winmar boys have lauded the Pride Game as a path forward, but Tynan hopes a current AFL player feels comfortable to come out in the near future.

“It’s going to be definitely be very difficult for them, and I think both the media and community need to be respectful, and need to take into consideration that it’s not an easy process for people and a lot of time these guys just want to play football,” Tynan said.

“I think eventually someone will step forward, but intil then I think we just need to be accepting of that and just wait for that to happen.”

OIP Staff

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