West Coast's Sharrod Wellingham says offensive football fans should take a lead from players and give racism the boot.

The warning comes as North Melbourne's Sudanese sensation Majak Daw, who was the target of alleged racial abuse last Saturday, plays at Patersons Stadium tonight.

After complaints from other fans, two men were thrown out of Etihad Stadium for heckling Daw during the Kangaroos' victory over the Western Bulldogs.

Wellingham said on-field racism was a thing of the past.

"But the over-the-fence stuff used to be the thing that would come up and poke its head out," he said.

"I think it is a sign of the times that players have been the ones to raise the issues if they have heard it.

"The on-field side of it has been all taken care of and now it is the part of educating the wider public."

The issue has been put in the spotlight as the AFL prepares to celebrate its Indigenous Round, climaxing with tomorrow week's Dreamtime at the G between Essendon and Richmond. This season marks 20 years since Nicky Winmar's iconic jumper-lifting gesture which highlighted racism in football.

North Melbourne forward Lindsay Thomas, the current Coleman Medal leader, said the infamous moment at Victoria Park had paved the way for change.

"It was a pretty brave act that he did and to his credit it has got the ball rolling," Thomas said.

"He and Michael Long paved the way for us guys to play this game and not have to cop anything you don't need to cop."

The West Australian

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