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Monday, September 21, 2015

Adam Goodes bows out

Former AFL footballer and commentator Tim Watson said fans would boo Adam Goodes at the Grand Final on Saturday, 3rd October, if he joined the lap of honour for retiring players.  So to save himself more embarrassment, Goods said he won't be there or have anything to do with Grand Final celebrations.

Some would argue that Australian footy fans have always booed players to show their displeasure, no matter who they are, and others are convinced that Goodes is being picked on because he's Aboriginal.

Radio commentator Alan Jones weighed in.  "You know, the man is always a victim, then he became Australian of the Year and tells us we're all racists - every time he speaks, Australia is a racist nation."

Shane Warne had his say.  "This whole Adam Goodes drama is ridiculous, the public can boo or chant whoever's name they want, it's nothing to do with racism" he wrote.  "If the public don't like a sportsman because of the way they play the game, they boo, if they like them, they cheer, nothing to do with racism."

Most of the bad feeling goes back to January 2014 and the night Goodes stopped the game when a 13 year old girl in the crowd called him an ape.  He heard it loud and clear and wasn't going to let it go, he pointed her out to security who led her away to the sound of boos from the crowd.

Last Thursday night AFL Footy Show host Sam Newman accused Goodes of going into hiding.  "He's not as important as he thinks he is .... if you are going to provoke people, that is by the gesture of spear throwing at the crowd, you better not be surprised when you get what you wish for and that's a reaction" he said.

"Unfortunately you are not well enough equipped to deal with the fracas and the saga you have caused, you're just not capable of dealing with it, hence the fact that you've gone into hiding, you're not playing anymore."

Goodes made his debut with the Swans in 1999 and was named Australian of the Year in 2014 for his activism against racism.  

He has said he will not attend any AFL events surrounding the Grand Final including the traditional lap at the MCG that all retiring players take part in before the Premiership match.

Rather than suffer the humiliation of being booed once again, this brilliant athlete is staying away.

There must be a lesson here somewhere, but I'm not sure what it is.