Tonight, Buddy Franklin's guernsey will carry a powerful message.

Tonight, Lance “Buddy” Franklin won’t be wearing his usual number 23 when runs onto the field of the SCG.

Instead, the Sydney Swans star will wear the number 67, as one of 10 players making the change for the AFL’s annual Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round

He explained the gesture in a powerful photo on his Instagram account on Wednesday.

As Franklin notes, this year marks 50 years since the 1967 referendum in which more than 90 per cent of Australians voted ‘yes’ to count Indigenous Australians among the general population.

The anniversary adds special significance to the round which was named in honour of Aboriginal football icon Sir Doug Nicholl.


Proud to wear these boots for Indigenous round this week. Amazing artwork by @lpenrith #marngrook @adidasau ????

A post shared by Buddy Franklin (@buddy_franklin23) on

Brisbane Lion Cedric Cox, Collingwood’s Daniel Wells, Gold Coast co-captain Steven May, Giant Zac Williams, Hawthorn’s Shaun Burgoyne and Richmond’s Shane Edwards will also wear the number 67.

Meanwhile other players – both indigenous and non-indigenous – will wear number 50, signifying the five decades since the historic vote.

Several teams will also wear special guernseys and boots designed by indigenous artists similar to the ones above, which Franklin posted on his Instagram earlier in the week.

Feature image: Instagram/Buddy Franklin