Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart has backed Jack Wighton for being passionate about his culture.
He also respected the Indigenous star for caring and having an opinion.
Wighton was disappointed the Raiders players weren't consulted about the Indigenous jersey the team will wear against the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville on Saturday.
He also felt Lynnice Church's design could've been used more prominently on the front of the Green Machine jersey.
Wighton has since sat down with Raiders director Katrina Fanning - the ACT Australian of the Year is the only Indigenous board member of an NRL club.
"He's passionate about his culture and I think his comments were a lot harsher written than what they actually were said," Stuart said.
"Jack cares and he has an opinion.
"It was great that he sat down with Katrina Fanning yesterday and discussed those opinions because she's a quality lady and understands it from Jack's side.
"But at no time was he trying to be disrespectful or rude to Mrs Church.
"Lynnice has done a wonderful job on the design of our jumper. She should be very proud of what she's done."
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Stuart will have New Zealand international Corey Harawira-Naera making his Raiders debut wearing that Indigenous jersey, while Gold Coast Titans captain Ryan James was on the verge of completing a two-year deal starting next season.
James was close to making his State of Origin debut for NSW before injury struck.
In the past the Raiders have struggled to draw big-name players, but Stuart felt that had changed.
Now they were approaching last year's grand finalist to join the club.
"Years ago it was very hard to sit down with a manager and a high-quality player to actually have any type of interest in the club. Now we've got managers ringing us," Stuart said.
"That's nice, but that comes back to all the hard work that [Raiders chief executive Don Furner] and his commercial team do.
"All the hard work that my players do and the environment we create here is a football environment, it's a great club.
"I don't have to sell it anymore because people know it. That's great.
"The big thing we have now when we're looking at recruiting is the fact we have got choice and that's a real benefit when you're trying to build a roster."
Stuart was unsure how he'll use Harawira-Naera, who has been named on the Raiders bench.
The 25-year-old can play in the second-row, as well as through the middle.
"We'll wait and see how the game unfolds. We'll get him on at some stage and give him some time," Stuart said.
"He hasn't had a great deal of training so we'll see how many minutes he'll get out.
"He's fitted straight into the squad very well as a person and from a playing point of view his professionalism towards his training and the way he's handled the new environment around our systems and the way we play the game.
"It's been noticeable he knows the game and he's a quality athlete."
NRL ROUND 12
Saturday: Canberra Raiders v North Queensland Cowboys at Townsville, 5.30pm.
Raiders team list: 1. Jordan Rapana, 2. Semi Valemei, 3. Jarrod Croker (c), 4. Curtis Scott, 5. Nick Cotric, 6. Jack Wighton, 7. George Williams, 8. Josh Papalii, 9. Siliva Havili, 10. Dunamis Lui, 11. John Bateman, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 13. Hudson Young. Interchange: 14. Tom Starling, 15. Joe Tapine, 16. Ryan Sutton, 17. Corey Harawira-Naera. Reserves: 18. Sam Williams, 19. Harley Smith-Shields, 20. Kai O'Donnell, 21. Matt Frawley.
Cowboys team list: 1. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, 2. Kyle Feldt, 3. Justin O'Neill, 4. Connelly Lemuelu, 5. Murray Taulagi, 6. Daejarn Asi, 7. Jake Clifford, 8. Josh McGuire, 9. Reece Robson, 10. Jordan McLean, 11. Shane Wright, 12. Coen Hess, 13. Jason Taumalolo (c). Interchange: 14. Mitch Dunn, 15. Tom Gilbert,16. Gavin Cooper, 17. Francis Molo. Reserves: 18. John Asiata, 19. Ben Hampton, 20. Esan Marsters, 21. Jake Granville.