Oppenheimer reference backlash ‘really unfair’, Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley insists

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley has fired back at criticism of his side following an admission it was taking inspiration from the movie Oppenheimer going into this year’s AFL finals series.

Earlier this week, star midfielder Ollie Wines was asked whether the Power had identified any motivational themes ahead of Saturday night’s qualifying final against Brisbane at the Gabba.

Wines told radio station SEN that the players had been inspired by the blockbuster biopic, and were impressed by its emphasis on teamwork to achieve an outcome.

“It’s a little bit about just how much work goes into something, and in the movie Oppenheimer it was to go into the atomic bomb that ended World War II,” Wines said.

“So many people have to come together and work hard for a number of years and this finals campaign isn’t just something that’s just been building this year — it’s probably been the last four years.

“The general grasp of it is so many people have to come together and work hard to reach a common goal, which hopefully for us is a premiership.”

But those comments quickly triggered backlash on social media,

“They may want to go rewatch the film a few more times, because this is a dreadful take and incredibly insensitive to theme things around,” one person wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

Three Port Adelaide AFL players embrace as they celebrate a goal against the Swans.

Ollie Wines (centre) says Port Adelaide players had been inspired by the movie Oppenheimer.(AAP: David Mariuz)

Others also questioned how appropriate it was to invoke the creator of the atomic bomb in a positive light ahead of a sporting fixture.

“Dunno mate but it sounds a bit dodgy to be taking inspiration from a biopic about the development of a nuclear weapon that killed hundreds of thousands of civilians,” one person wrote.

“The Atomic Bomb!! Serious??? Tore apart more than it brought together,” another said.

‘That’s a silly question’

Power coach Ken Hinkley today fronted a media conference at Adelaide Airport ahead of his side flying to Brisbane for the clash with the Lions.

But the encounter became heated when Hinkley was quizzed about his side using J. Robert Oppenheimer as a role model.

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