The Independent’s journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

Johnathan Thurston: Image of daughter holding dark-skinned doll becomes talking point of NRL grand final

The doll was praised as a symbol of inclusiveness 

Johnathan Thurston
Johnathan Thurston

An image of an Australian rugby player holding his young daughter quickly became the talking point of Australia’s National Rugby League Final overnight.

North Queensland Cowboys co-captain Johnathan Thurston scored the winning goal of the match against the Brisbane Broncos on Sunday by 16-17. The game, described as one of the best grand finals of all time, was significant as both teams had Indigenous Australian captains for the first time in NRL history.

After beating the Broncos, an emotional Thurston was pictured sat on the pitch, crying and holding his two-year-old daughter Frankie, who was clutching a dark-skinned doll.

The image provoked a strong reaction on social media, with many praising Thurston for giving his child a toy that promotes inclusiveness and diversity. A number of people singled it out as the strongest picture from the tournament.

Dreams do come true... #NRLGF

Posted by NRL - National Rugby League on Sunday, 4 October 2015

The Broncos captain Justin Hodges was full of praise for Thurston after his victory.

“His legacy in my eyes is as one of the greatest players to have ever played the game,” he told ABC News.

Thurston's Wikipedia page was also updated to describe him as “a God and co-captain of National Rugby League team the North Queensland Cowboys” shortly after.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in