Indigenous journalist Stan Grant has been brought in to mediate a dispute between St Kilda great Nicky Winmar and three prominent AFL identities, over claims Winmar’s iconic jumper-lift wasn’t about black pride.
Sam Newman, Mike Sheahan and Don Scott caused outrage when they suggested in a podcast that the 1993 picture of Winmar pointing to his skin was simply about St Kilda showing guts in their win over Collingwood, rather than racism.
Winmar, and photographer Wayne Ludbey are threatening legal action over the comments.
“I know what I did, I am not a liar,” Winmar told the Herald Sun earlier this week.
“These white fellas are tarnishing my legacy.”
Sheahan has already apologised and quit the You Cannot Be Serious podcast.
“I’m not as accustomed as you to the fallout and the public scrutiny so it’s shaken me a bit. The thing that worried me most is I definitely did hurt some people who I regard as football friends,” Sheahan said this week.
“Indigenous people, indigenous players, who I have a healthy relationship with, they were hurt and angry. Adam Goodes rang me and was clearly hurt and a little angry about what I’ve said. Mick O’Loughlin and I spoke.
“I don’t like unnecessarily hurting people. I’m speaking for me here.
“I think I see myself through their eyes as attacking an Aboriginal monument in football.
“I genuinely feel they were hurt by what I said. This is the forum where we discussed the issue initially and this is the forum where I should say I’m sorry for the pain I’ve caused you guys.”
Earlier this year Grant was appointed to a new role at Charles Sturt University, as the Vice-Chancellor’s Chair of Australian-Indigenous Belonging.
Along with retired Federal Court judge Raymond Finkelstein, he will attempt to resolve the dispute, although Winmar and Ludbey are still threatening to take the case to court.