KILLARNEY-based singer Archie Roach will step onto the MCG for Saturday's Dreamtime match to take football fans back to an iconic moment in Australian sports history.
Roach and his band will perform The Colour of Your Jumper, as well as Heal The People’ from his latest album Into The Bloodstream, at half time of Essendon's clash with Richmond.
The Aboriginal artist penned the song 20 years ago to explain his belief that the colour of the jumper in any footy team was more important than the colour of a players’ skin.
Inspiration for the song came from the iconic AFL moment when St Kilda footballer Nicky Winmar took direct action against racist remarks with a defiant gesture, lifting his jumper and pointing to his skin as a stand against racism.
Roach said Winmar was a big fan of his music at the time and struggled with the pain of what happened on the field.
“When Nicky lifted his jumper that day and pointed to his black skin in defiance of the racial abuse directed at him and other indigenous players in 1993, it made me sad and angry that this champion of the game would have to do that," Roach said.
"More importantly, I think, is what the jumper meant to Nicky and many others on that fateful day.
"What I saw was not just an Aboriginal man proud of his heritage and people, but a young man who had made it.
"He was an elite sportsman in the greatest game, Australian Rules football, who played his heart out for that jumper.”