Jack Wighton has publicly blasted the Raiders over their jersey design for the upcoming Indigenous round.
Labelling his side’s effort’s as ‘terrible’, the Raiders star and proud Indigenous man was visibly annoyed by the jersey release.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported the Raiders are the only club not to have an Indigenous symbol on the front of their jersey as they chose to represent the fact the ACT is the only jurisdiction in Australia to have a Reconciliation Day public holiday on their sleeves.
The Kangaroos centre is the only Indigenous Australian in the Raider’s first-grade squad.
“I’m very, very proud but I’m a little bit disappointed how the club went about the jersey and that. I feel like we just ticked a box, no one got any input,” Wighton told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“We’ve got a lot of First Nations people of all different types – Samoans and Maoris and that, you know – and no one really had any say about the jersey.
“I think you can tell. We had a whole canvas and they just put a little design on the sleeve. We didn’t hear nothing about it until this week. No one came to us for any ideas.
“In previous years we’ve had a lot to do with it and the club has run things past us but I felt like they got lazy this year.”
While avoiding being critical of the artist, Lynnice Church, an Aboriginal women from the Ngunnawal, Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi tribes, Weighton believes his club should have gone to more effort in a special round for many people across the game.
The design of the South Sydney jersey is an obvious example, it includes a handprint of the club’s eight Indigenous players and a totem for their tribe.
The South Sydney jersey was designed by Cody Walker’s uncle Joe and has a black rabbit at its centre.
“They’ve got the best stories and put a bit of effort in. I just feel like we ticked a box this year,” Wighton said.
“It’s terrible. I’m filthy. It’s the one round to share culture, you know what I mean, to get our artwork and stories out there, and I feel like we’ve put a pretty poor effort in, if I’m to be honest.”