'Disgraceful': Port Adelaide slammed over 'embarrassing' AFL stunt

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Pictured right, former Collingwood president Eddie McGuire and Port Adelaide players in prison bar jumpers on the left.
Former Collingwood president Eddie McGuire has been passionately opposed to Port Adelaide wearing their prison bars guernsey. Pic: Ch7/Getty

Port Adelaide have courted controversy after deciding to change into their 'prison bars' guernseys to sing the team song after Saturday night's Showdown win against city rivals, the Crows.

Forward Todd Marshall booted three goals in Port's 12.15 (87) to 5.8 (38) win in Saturday night's grudge match at Adelaide Oval.

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However, attention soon turned to the sheds after the game as the divisive issue of Port's heritage jumper was again thrust into the spotlight.

The AFL told the Power they were not allowed to wear the prison bars strip for the Showdown with the Crows because of its likeness to Collingwood's iconic guernsey.

The issue has been simmering for some time, with Port chairman David Koch trading barbs with ex-Collingwood president Eddie McGuire, insisting the Power should be able to wear the strip in Showdown matches.

Despite the AFL ban, Port players changed into the prison bars jumper before singing their club song in celebration of of the 49-point win.

The stunt was jumped upon by AFL fans on social media, with many labelling it "disgraceful" and "embarrassing" and a slap in the face of the AFL.

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Port deny claims they disrespected the AFL

Power coach Ken Hinkley denied the move was designed to send a signal to the AFL.

"No, it's a show of respect for our heritage for our past and for our great people that played in it, for our people who turn up .. and represent this footy club," Hinkley said.

"We started as Port Adelaide and we still are.

"And part of that journey is this amazing jumper which the boys love, the club loves and everyone that supports this footy club loves.

"We had to wait until after the game but we will recognise it as often as we have to."

Port's former captain Travis Boak, who won the best-afield medal against the Crows for a third time in Showdown history, said the club would continue to fight to wear the jumper in games.

Seen here, Showdown medallist Travis Boak for Port Adelaide.
Travis Boak was best on ground in the Showdown clash at Adelaide Oval. Pic: Getty

Port wanted to wear the jumper, which the club predominantly wore in the SANFL, in their two AFL games against home-town rivals Adelaide this season.

But the AFL refused, citing signed agreements between the Power, the league and also Collingwood, who argue Port's prison bars jumper infringes on their trademark black and white kit.

"This guernsey means so much to our community, to our footy club," Boak said.

"To sing the song in this guernsey is special and we were able to do that."

Boak said donning the prison bars jumper was a "full club" decision.

"That was planned, if we come off winning, we would sing it in this guernsey and show our fans that it means just as much to the players as it does to the community," he said.

The ex-skipper hoped club chairman David Koch would continue to fight the AFL's decision to prevent the Power wearing the jumper in games.

"That is probably up to Kochie and the rest of the footy club to continue to fight for," he said.

"And I know they will fight really hard because it means so much to our club and certainly the club would love to wear them again ... we love this jumper and we want to wear it as much as we can."

with AAP

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