Football star Nic Naitanui has commented on a Perth mother's decision to dress her son in blackface, so he could dress as his idol during a school Book Week competition.
Naitanui tweeted on Friday that he felt the mother didn't intend to cause any harm and just wanted her 'kid to simply be Nic Nat'.
However he suggested she consider an alternative method next time.
“The young bloods innocence merely attempting to emulate his hero hurts my heart,” he said in his statement.
“Especially when that hero is me.
“It’s a shame racism coexists in an environment where our children should be nurtured not tortured because they are unaware of the painful historical significance “blackface” has had previously on the oppressed.
“I don’t believe the mother had any intention to cause harm, just wanted her kid to simply be “Nic Nat”, however may reflect on this and choose an alternate method next time #educationisthekey #evenivelearnt”
The mum said she stood by her decision to give her son blackface and that she has been called "every single name under the sun" after being labelled a racist across social media for sharing her son's picture.
"I was a little worried about painting him (so many politically correct extremists these days)," she posted on a popular social blogger's wall.
"He is pasty white and if I sent him in a wig and footy gear, no one would tell who he was.
"So I grew a set of balls and painted my boy brown and he looked fan****tastic."
The mother said her son won the best dressed parade, despite being told the idea was "horrible" by other parents.
"Parenting win! I'm celebrating by having a wine before 12pm," she said.
Once posted on blogger Constance Hall's wall, the picture went viral with thousands of people slamming the mother's decision.
The popular Perth blogger later told her followers she deleted the mother's post because her site is "not a place for posts that can hurt people".
While condemning dressing up a child in blackface, Ms Hall said she believed the mother dressed her son with the best intentions.
"I don't believe that the mum in question was behaving maliciously, I don't believe that she intended to hurt anyone. However I think it was an ill informed decision based on her view that there is too much political correctness in our world," she posted to her almost 900,000 followers.
This morning, the blogger posted a photograph of her in tears alongside a post about how she had received death threats over the comments.
"I'm sorry to all of the Queens that my opinion has offended," she said.
"I didn't think I was shaming her at all...I have been called every name under the sun, called a fake, told that I am too big for my boots over and over again."
Despite the controversy, the mother of the boy said she still had "a little hope for humanity" after receiving hundreds of inbox messages supporting her decision to paint her son brown.
"The fact your son wanted to dress up as his idol is proof enough there is no racism in your home," one fan posted.
Despite the initial outrage, hundreds have taken to social media to support the mum’s decision.
Lisa Gwynn wrote on 7 News Facebook that she felt blackface was not acceptable as a mockery, however in this instance mockery was not the intention.
“It’s a costume, it he was dressing as a frog he’d colour his face green for instance, right,” she wrote.
Stephy Louise felt the child just wanted to be like his favourite footy player: “There is NOTHING wrong nor racist about this at all,” she wrote.
Louise Thorp said she saw the child in the parade and that the school supported him.
“The staff thought it was very clever,” she said.
Earlier this year Australian Opals basketball team member Alice Kunek apologised after she shared photos of herself in blackface online, dressed as Kanye West.
In the photo, Kunek was pictured wearing a ripped white t-shirt, an oversized jacket and a beanie with her entire face and chest painted black.
She later said it was ‘never her intention to offend anybody’.
News break – August 25