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.
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."