Jack Wighton Isn't Happy With The Canberra Raiders' Indigenous Jersey
Canberra Raiders star Jack Wighton is fuming with his team's jersey design for the NRL's Indigenous Round.
Every season, the Indigenous Round celebrates the involvement of Indigenous players, officials and fans in rugby league across Australia and New Zealand.
The round sees each NRL team release a newly-designed Indigenous jersey, with each kit telling different stories through their incredible imagery.
Kangaroos and Raiders centre Wighton, a proud Indigenous athlete, has slammed his team's 'lazy' efforts.
Get your Raiders 2020 Indigenous Jersey in time for Round 12 and the
NRL Indigenous Round. https://t.co/fJsxrcARZo pic.twitter.com/QmoDghuvey
- Canberra Raiders (@RaidersCanberra) July 26, 2020
"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."
The Raiders are the only team in the competition not to have an Indigenous symbol on the front of their jerseys, they've instead opted for the designs to be located on the sleeves.
And while Canberra did work closely alongside Lynnice Church - an Aboriginal woman from the Ngunnawal, Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi tribes - to design their playing strip, Wighton insists his side haven't gone to the same measures that other NRL clubs have - such as South Sydney.
The Rabbitohs' powerful shirt was designed by Cody Walker's uncle and is a nod to the club's eight Indigenous players.
Moreover, in comparison to other NRL teams such as the Melbourne Storm or Parramatta Eels, Canberra's Indigenous design only makes up a tiny portion of their overall jersey.
Wighton said: "They've got the best stories and put a bit of effort in. I just feel like we ticked a box this year.
"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 honest."
Get to know our connection and the stories behind this year's Indigenous Jersey! :rabbit2::yellow_heart::heart:
Shop now: https://t.co/9RCJl3NKxB #OldestProudestLoudest #GoRabbitohs pic.twitter.com/FjjyrPDApu
- South Sydney Rabbitohs :rabbit: (@SSFCRABBITOHS) July 29, 2020
Ky-ya, the young artist who designed this year's Indigenous jersey, included a special detail for Foxx.
She spoke to him about the design over a video call :purple_heart: pic.twitter.com/SegQCyak8V
- Melbourne Storm (@storm) July 21, 2020
Check out our Round 12 'Members Only' Match Day Guide for the clash against @PenrithPanthers at Lottoland - home of the Gayamaygal and Garigal Peoples
:pencil:- https://t.co/ZFPjwGN25x#ManlyForever #NRLManlyPanthers #NRLIndigenous pic.twitter.com/WgNieefBH5
- Manly Warringah Sea Eagles (@SeaEagles) July 29, 2020
To celebrate the NRL Indigenous Round, the Roosters and KARI will be auctioning the player issued jerseys.
All proceeds will be donated to the KARI Foundation to support Sydney Roosters Community programs.
bid here!- https://t.co/SDudlmXjPu#NRLindigenous #EastsToWin pic.twitter.com/N2Nop5pIVv
- Sydney Roosters :trophy::trophy: (@sydneyroosters) July 29, 2020
Our 2020 NRL Indigenous Round jersey.
:arrow_right: Buy now: https://t.co/qjj3OTtIFy#PARRAdise #NRLIndigenous pic.twitter.com/4wTbTas7xc
- Parramatta Eels (@TheParraEels) July 29, 2020
Featured Image Credit: Twitter/Canberra Raiders