Illustration: Mick Connolly

Illustration: Mick Connolly


It may be that Adam Goodes (and anyone of a bunch of other players) receive boos for their style of play.

It is also entirely obvious – Blind Freddie can see it from the coverage of the original game against Carlton – that the initial outbreak of booing was over his celebrating his celebration of his aboriginal heritage, and that has continued as the sheeple now duly join in, game after game.

Why? Goodes’s real error is being an uppity black who doesn’t know his place. That’s why the 30 or so other black players in the AFL don’t receive the same treatment.

As the West Australian asked, “Why, in the round of footy created to celebrate Aboriginal players and their contribution to making the game great, is it so offensive when one of the best Indigenous players of all time celebrates a goal with a war dance?

Why is his celebration analysed through the prism of white versus black Australia?

Why can’t he just be allowed to celebrate in his way during a round of footy set up for exactly that reason?

Why is his way of celebrating and gesturing towards the crowd who boo him any different than a white soccer player running over to the opposition crowd after scoring a goal and putting his hands up to his ears as if to say, what have you got to say now?

It happens all the time.

It’s called passion, defiance – and, yes, provocation. It’s sport, for heavens sake.”

We should note that Adam Goodes explained it like this:

“Yeah, it wasn’t something that was premeditated.

“Lewis Jetta and myself had a chat on Thursday that we wanted to represent on Friday night and we wanted to do a dance and it was a shame that Lewis couldn’t get on the board because he had something special planned as well.

“So it was all about representing our people and our passion and dance is a big way we do that. There wasn’t nothing untoward to the Carlton supporters, it was actually something for them to stand up and go “yep, cool, we see you, we acknowledge you, bring it on.” My team mates loved it. The Carlton players loved it. It’s not something that people should be getting their backs up against the wall about.

Is this the lesson we want to teach our children that when we don’t understand something we get angry and we put our back up against the wall – [and say] ‘oh that’s offensive’? No,  if it’s something we don’t understand, let’s have a conversation understand – What was Goodsey doing? He spoke about it after the game. ‘Oh, ok, it was from the Indigenous Allstars, it’s something he learnt from these under 16 kids’. I just think of those kids watching last night and they saw that, how proud they would be.”

goodes2Quite. Let us also remember, as the boos echo around the stadia, that on January 26 last year, the Sydney Swans champion was named Australian of the Year for his contribution to sport and indigenous youth, including supporting Aboriginal kids in detention centres and promoting education and healthy lifestyles as co-founder of the Go Foundation.

His citation read: “Adam is a great role model and advocate for the fight against racism both on and off the field and is admired by a great many people around the nation.”

You know what would impress me in this sad situation?

A bunch of white players doing an aboriginal war dance this weekend when they score. Not because they are celebrating Goodes’s heritage, that his to celebrate, but to 

That’s the most effective thing the whole football community could do to stop this thing stone dead, and it would be a very Australian response, too.

  1. Simon says:

    In England football players from away clubs were instructed not to incite the crowd following an away goal with over-the-top celebrations….so when Adam Goodes provokes the crowd he should expect some form of retaliation…that’s the way it works…just ask Shane Warne or Dermott Brereton etc. In the case of Goodes, the booing he receives goes beyond the pale and some of the comments on social media are simply disgraceful in terms of the absolute racism….so here’s the deal…Goodes simply play football and don’t incite the crowd and in return, the crowd wont boo you as they didn’t boo Syd Jackson, Winmar, Wanganeen, Rioli, Krackour, etc etc…that’s how it works…


    • Sorry Simon, but that’s nonsense. Not only do English football players routinely ignore that standard, but this occurred during a game in a round SPECIFICALLY to celebrate Indigenous culture. So we can say it so long as no indigenous people actually DO it?


  2. underwriiter505 says:

    I’m sorry this happened, but thank you for sharing.


  3. Simon says:

    What your article also fails to appreciate is the strategic value Goodes has created by declaring himself unavailable for this weekend…..everybody in the country is talking about racism and you have to hand it to Adam….he has again raised this topic brilliantly….let’s hope he can now finish his career as a footballer playing football ….keeping it real…


    • I think that’s overly cynical, Simon, but it is a possibility. I don’t think leading figures in the AFL community would be leaping in to express how distressed he is if he were making it up, though, nor his Club and team-mates.


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