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Jamarra Ugle-Hagan evokes AFL legend in powerful stand against racism


Western Bulldogs star Jamarra Ugle-Hagan has delivered a powerful statement a week after he was racially abused.

Ugle-Hagan had a day away from the club earlier this week after it emerged a fan had abused him during Saturday night’s AFL loss to St Kilda.

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The 20-year-old was selected for Thursday night’s clash against Brisbane and began the game on fire with the opening goal.

But it what he did after kicking the goal that will live long in the memory.

He lifted his jumper and pointed to his skin in an image reminiscent of St Kilda legend Nicky Winmar’s famous stand 30 years ago.

Jamarra Ugle-Hagan’s powerful stand during the Round 3 match against Brisbane. Credit: Getty Images
Nicky Winmar’s 1993 gesture against racist fans is an iconic moment in Australian sporting history. Credit: AAP

Fittingly, fellow Indigenous player Arthur Jones was the man who started the play that led to Ugle-Hagan’s goal.

Jones’ tackle on Cam Rayner forced a turnover on the wing before Bailey Smith’s pinpoint pass found Ugle-Hagan in the forward pocket.

He stepped around and calmly snapped the goal.

Ugle-Hagan had presented Jones with his Bulldogs jumper this week before the 19-year-old’s debut.

On April 17, 1993, Winmar raised his Saints guernsey and pointed to his chest in response to racist comments from Collingwood fans during a match at Victoria Park.

The photo of the incident became a rallying point for the issue of racism in Australian sport.

Earlier in the week, Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge expressed admiration for Ugle-Hagan as a “strong Indigenous man”.

“He’ll feel he needs to represent and show the way and we’re looking forward to having him as part of the team tomorrow night,” he said on Wednesday.

‘He’s fine – he’s very appreciative of all the support … there was never any indication he was going to let something like this get on top of him.

“(That) is unbelievably admirable. He’s ready to go.”

Jamarra Ugle-Hagan celebrates his goal against Brisbane. Credit: Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images

Beveridge said Ugle-Hagan took the day off because he does not like being the centre of attention.

“He was obviously down, as we all are, as we wrap our arms around him and support him,” the coach added.

Beveridge spoke of the Bulldogs’ Indigenous links and said the AFL’s latest racism incident was incredibly disappointing.

“You’d imagine how I feel about it, my love for our First Nations people runs really deep,” he said.

“We have a great representation across … our football club, so we’re extremely sensitive to negativity.”

The AFL is investigating the incident and the Saints have said the culprit will not be welcome at their games.

– With AAP

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Source: 7News