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.
- Ollie Wines said on radio that the team’s work was inspired by the blockbuster biopic Oppenheimer
- Some questioned how appropriate it was to invoke the creator of the atomic bomb in a positive light
- Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley fired back at questions about whether the comparison was appropriate
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).
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.
“Every club has some type of theme that they may or may not use,” he said.
“The key part about that, as I think Ollie explained incredibly well, is that it’s just a little story around how people had to come together over a long period of time to work really hard on one single thing to get an outcome we’re trying to get, and for us we’ve been at this task for a good period of time — four or five years.
“I haven’t seen the movie myself so it’s not that big a theme for us.”
When pushed about whether the outcome of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki made the movie an inappropriate reference, Hinkley fired back, saying that was “a silly question to ask” and “really unfair”.
“That’s a silly question to put in the same conversation,” he said.
“It was around a group of people coming together and the need to work together to get an outcome. Let’s not go to that dark spot that you’re trying to take it.
“I think it’s an unfair response to what we’re trying to achieve.”