The Nicky Winmar statue at Perth Stadium — a symbol of monumental stupidity

From an APP member

Neil Elvis “Nicky” Winmar was a champion West Australian footballer. From the time he first appeared in the public spotlight as a young gun playing for South Fremantle in the WAFL back in 1983, Winmar displayed freakish ability on the football field. His skill, courage and athleticism, and in particular, his capacity to pull down spectacular marks, quickly endeared him to West Australian football fans.

By 1987, Winmar had moved to St. Kilda in the Victorian Football League, where he quickly established himself on an even bigger stage, as a special footballer, with freakish marking abilities.

In the highly competitive environment of the VFL, Winmar was known to be occasionally prone to being distracted by certain on-field tactics utilised by opposition teams, which had occasionally included being subjected to racial taunts from opposition players. Winmar was prone to losing control, and on a number of occasions, he was sanctioned by the tribunal for on-field thuggery.

Whilst playing for St. Kilda against Collingwood at Victoria Park in 1993, (with the VFL now re-branded as the Australian Football League — AFL), Winmar produced a fine performance in the last quarter to help St. Kilda win the game. This drew the ire of many Collingwood fans, beaten by a better team on the day, on their own home turf, in an important game they were expecting to win. After the final siren, there were loud boos coming from some Collingwood fans — perhaps disappointed at the umpires, or by their own team’s performance, or like sore losers, they were just booing their victorious St. Kilda opposition.

But for whatever the reason, Winmar obviously heard some racial taunts directed his way, and in response, he lifted his jumper and pointed to his skin, as if to imply “Hey, you can’t touch me, I’m proud to be black”. It was a simple act of defiance and self-empowerment, and probably a very appropriate way for Winmar to have responded.

The incident was also filmed and photographed.

Over the years, the incident has received a great deal of public and media attention. With top-down “political correctness” becoming the dominant dogmatism imposed on our society by those with power and influence, we have seen a terrible corruption of community values. In this age of intersectionality, grievance politics, glorified and preferenced Aboriginality, glorified Aboriginal sports stars, and where “taking a stand against racism” is perceived as being the very pinnacle of human virtue by obsessed, sanctimonious virtue-signallers, the Nicky Winmar skin-pointing incident has been distorted and manipulated many times by those with an agenda, adding their own particular spin.

It’s been used by the ultra-PC AFL and its media minions to lecture the public about the “wrongs of racism”. Winmar has been portrayed as a new PC hero, a champion of social justice, who “took a public stand against racism”. Yet, at the time, Winmar’s act was basically saying “You can’t touch ME with YOUR racism”. He wasn’t trying to lecture anyone or control anyone else. He didn’t point his finger at his abusers, rather, he pointed his finger at himself. One may well think — if only Adam Goodes had done the same… indeed, if only the symbolism of Winmar’s act had been better understood.

Alas, the PC moral vanity cultists can seemingly never resist the urge to virtue-signal, and to ram their PC fundamentalism down everybody else’s throats. Before long, Winmar’s simple act of pointing to his skin wasn’t being remembered for the right reasons, in the right way — it was now being remembered for all the wrong reasons, in the wrong way. The propaganda has now reached its zenith, with the Winmar skin-pointing incident now actually being literally idolised in the form of a statue at the new Perth Stadium, with the full endorsement of the West Australian Labor government, and the AFL. It’s a classic example of something very ordinary made out to be extraordinary by the cult of PC fundamentalism.

Across many cultures throughout the world, statues have long been revered as powerful symbols. They are often situated in prime locations, to inspire awe and admiration from large numbers of people in the public space, not just for the magnificent artwork involved in the statue itself, but also for the values a statue may represent. They may imply heroism, ownership, power, confidence, dominance, courage, excellence, justice, and binding community values and aspirations, often in a historical context. They can also be powerful propaganda tools. Many powerful leaders and dictators have commissioned statues of themselves to demonstrate their power to their people.

The new Nicky Winmar statue at Perth Stadium is about much more than Nicky Winmar or football. Even WA Sports Minister Mick Murray admitted as much. In reality, it’s even about more than Aborigines or divisive racial identity politics. It’s a monument to the moral vanity of the PC fundamentalist brigade. It’s about whose values dominate in our society.

Should it be the values of reason, pragmatism, truth, equality, and justice, where a society values excellence, and sets and rewards high standards? Or the values of a seductive shadow morality that taps into people’s egotism and moral vanity, that values perceived “victimhood” and virtue-signalling, and that sets and rewards low standards and mediocrity?

One of the problems with trying to turn Aboriginal footy stars into social or cultural heroes, is that so often it seems to backfire. As has been the case once again with the Nicky Winmar statue.

Present at the ceremonial unveiling of the Winmar statue in July 2019 were the heavyweights the WA Premier Mark McGowan, WA Sports Minister Mick Murray, and AFL boss Gillon McLachlan. Winmar himself was there also, allowed to attend after he’d had a court date in Melbourne specifically moved for his appearance there in Perth.

In August, Winmar pleaded guilty to serious assault charges from a violent and drunken conflict he’d had with a taxi driver in Melbourne back in March. Winmar escaped jail, but was handed a 12-month community corrections order. You’d think after the Rolf Harris experience, West Australians might have been a little more careful as to who they attribute public monuments to.

It’s almost as if fate sometimes has its way of correcting people for their stupidity. But Mark McGowan, Mick Murray and Gillon McLachlan were not paying attention. Never mind standards or criminal records, McGowan, Murray and McLachlan knew full well that Winmar was to face trial for serious assault charges. However, they were not going to miss an opportunity to display their devotion to the PC moral vanity cult and to impose more politically correct propaganda on our society. So, with considerable fanfare, and hailed as “historic” by some media sources, the Nicky Winmar statue was the very first to be unveiled at the new Perth Stadium. Reportedly the 2.7m statue cost $100,000.

There’s many ironies about this monumentally appalling choice of a statue. Whilst Winmar had played for South Fremantle, and played state-of-origin football for WA, the skin-pointing incident occurred on the other side of the country, with Winmar playing for a Victorian club.

During his long playing career in the WAFL and the AFL, Winmar often displayed considerable skill and courage. By stark contrast, pointing to his skin took absolutely no skill or courage whatsoever. For all the extraordinary things Winmar did on the football field, he’s been literally idolised for something completely ordinary. Whilst he was once a significant player on the footy field, he’s now become a pawn in the Culture War.

When you think about the many other great West Australian footballers (with no criminal records) who could have otherwise been chosen for a statue at Perth Stadium, why did the powers-that-be choose the Nicky Winmar skin-pointing incident? Why choose mediocrity over excellence? Why choose Culture War politics over sporting prowess?

The Winmar statue is literally a false idol, inspired by a false morality.

We can only hope that there will be change soon enough. A society should choose its idols, symbols, and statues wisely. We can only hope that a future enlightened society, educated about the cult of PC moral vanity, will set high standards, and won’t idolise convicted criminals in statues at major sporting stadiums — let alone do so for the wrong reasons. We can only hope that such a society will show real leadership, and quickly take a wrecking ball to the Winmar statue and all the falsehood it represents.

References:
Nicky Winmar”, Wikipedia
Historic Nicky Winmar statue to be unveiled at Optus Stadium”, The West Australian, 6 July 2019
AFL legend Nicky Winmar to face court over alleged drunken assault: report”, Fox Sports, 15 July 2019
AFL legend avoids jail over cab driver assault”, 9 News, 16 August 2019
AFL great Nicky Winmar sentenced after admitting to taxi driver assault”, 7 News, 16 August 2019

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