'He changed it for black fellas': NRL star's powerful nod to AFL great

There were no regrets from Josh Addo-Carr after he adopted St Kilda great Nicky Winmar's famous jersey-lifting gesture in Saturday's NRL All Stars clash, but admitted it may have made a few Australians angry.

Melbourne flyer Addo-Carr stole the show in the pre-match war cry against the Maori on the Gold Coast with his stirring display of Indigenous pride, echoing Winmar's defiant stance in 1993.

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While Latrell Mitchell led the war cry, all eyes were on Addo-Carr when he stepped ahead of his Indigenous teammates and lifted his jersey before proudly pointing to the colour of his chest.

It was a poignant nod to Winmar who became a powerful symbol for the fight against racism when he was photographed doing the same in 1993 as he reacted to relentless abuse from Collingwood fans at Victoria Park.

Josh Addo-Carr paid homage to Indigenous footy pioneer Nicky Winmar. Pic: Getty/Twitter

Winmar's gesture resonated so deeply that he was immortalised in bronze with a statue of the incident at Perth's Optus Stadium last year.

"I did a little tribute to Nicky Winmar, obviously there is an iconic photo of him," Addo-Carr told reporters after the Indigenous' 30-16 All Stars loss to the Maori.

"I thought about that picture during the week. He changed it for black fellas so I thought I'd pay my respects.

‘It might make a few people angry’

"I do hope he (Winmar) sees it, I really do."

But Addo-Carr admitted not everyone would be happy with his actions.

"I thought it might make a few people angry .... maybe it would make people uncomfortable but I am proud of it," he said.

"There's a great story behind it. I'm really proud that I did it."

Not that Addo-Carr lifted his jersey on Saturday night to open old wounds in Australia.

On the contrary, Addo-Carr hoped to help build new bridges.

"I just want to make my people proud. They are driving me to be the best I can," he said.

"We just want to be included. We want to be one with all Australia. We just want to be happy."