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Boo-hoo, Adam

Marcus Paul 30 July 2015 61

afl ground

There’s plenty in the news cycle this week about AFL star Adam Goodes.

Or should that be indigenous star? Or maybe Australian of the Year, AFL legend and Aboriginal rights campaigner Adam Goodes.

After all, I don’t want to offend. Or even worse, appear racist.

Either way, I’m of the opinion the man is always playing the victim. He’s called Australia a racist country … and he is our Australian of the Year.

He speaks of Invasion Day, and calls fans from opposition teams ‘bigots’ for daring to boo him at games. And he’s kindly reminded us to “remember whose lands you’re on”.

It’s this antagonism toward a nation which has bestowed one of its highest honours upon him that grates with me. I applaud indigenous peoples who try to advance themselves, and indeed causes which they are passionate about. And I celebrate with fellow Australians the effort and achievements of so many indigenous athletes both past and present.

My current sporting idol is Johnathon Thurston. He is named by many as the best rugby league player in the world, but he is simply more than that. My personal experience with Thurston has led me to believe he is someone who perhaps the “spear throwing, war cry” favouring Goodes should look to.

Thurston is a bloke who’s done more for race relations than Adam Goodes ever could. His methods are simple, respectful and above else non-divisive. From handing out headgear to young fans at each game (at both half time and full time) to always picking up his kicking tee and giving it to ball boys with a pat on the back or rub on the head thrown in. It’s these subtleties which I believe garner respect and admiration.

This writer also recalls seeing Thurston playing impromptu games of touch footy with holiday makers, children mostly, on Magnetic Island just off the Coast from his beloved Townsville. These were not media-organised photo opportunities but a genuine proud indigenous man simply living and loving life – and not jumping on a soap box to scream inequality at every chance.

There is no doubt Adam Goodes is a brilliant AFL talent. On the field his achievements are plentiful – Brownlow Medals and Premierships. Off the field however, he’s way out of form.

Marcus Paul is the host of Canberra Live 3pm weekdays on 2CC.


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Boo-hoo, Adam
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No_Nose 11:57 am 30 Jul 15

Everyone has an opinion about it and that is fine. What I have yet to see from any side of the arguement is a workable practical solution.

In my opinion the entire blame for this untidy mess rests wholly and solely with the media. They pushed and pushed until it became a story and now they have made it too big to go away. They have created an issue that quite simply has no solution.

You simply cannot ban a crowd from ‘booing’ a particular player. You cannot ban a crowd from booing in general. You cannot restrict a crowd to only booing incidents of ‘unfair play’ or poor umpiring.

As an AFL supporter I don’t particularly like Goodes because of his style of play and more importantly because he uses that style of play to help his team beat my team. I’m sure if he played for my club I would love his style of play, because it gets the job done well. I really have no opinion about what he does or doesn’t do off-field and I don’t care. He doesn’t play for my club…so I don’t like him! But I would hate to see him end his career on this media constructed issue.

chewy14 11:56 am 30 Jul 15

Ian said :

Anyone thinking the booing of Goodes is not mostly driven by racism is kidding themselves.

Much like anyone thinking the asylum seekers debate is not largely about racism. It is all about the Libs and ALP pandering to the racist voters. I’d guarantee that if the asylum seekers were, lets say, white South Africans fleeing black oppression, those same people would be demanding the government send ships and planes over there to rescue them. Unfortunately, the people seeking asylum now and in recent years are inconveniently brown skinned, and muslim.

Example A of what I was talking about in my first comment.

No analysis of the issue, nor argument or evidence presented, just a broad based assumption that “I” know what all other people who disagree with me think and believe, “just because”. “I am right, you are wrong”.

And the worst part of this is, it couldn’t be more useless and counterproductive in convincing people of your position or bringing them around to your point of view. This kind of behaviour only servce to entrench existing thoughts, opinions and opposition.

zllauh 11:49 am 30 Jul 15

Lets show respect to each and every one, the color of the blood is red , no matter what the back ground is.

rosscoact 11:31 am 30 Jul 15

Middle class white blokes telling aboriginals to get over it. You sir, are a disgrace to your race.

Antagonist 11:14 am 30 Jul 15

nsee said :

I think this little debate about Goodes should serve as a reminder to Australians about how racist this country has always been.. until very recently (treating Indigenous Australians as part of the Floral & Fauna Act, the refusal to recognise them in the Constitution, the White Australia policy, etc etc).

It’s easy to say “move on,” that the past is the past, and all the rest, but all these blatantly racist policies were only abolished less than a generation ago. We won’t stop living in a society with racists for several more generations to come.

We only need to look at the refugee policy, which panders to the racist and super-conservative vote to see this.

Telling Adam to get over it, or to write articles childishly titled “Boo Hoo Adam” do not add to the conversation at all – it’s for the most part an attempt to cover up the reality that White Australia is still not ready to front up to the fact that racism is still alive – and that they’re just trying to conceal it.

And while aboriginal continue to rightly or wrongly have a chip on their shoulders about the past (some of them myths), the reconciliation process is dead. Perhaps the wrongs of the past are still too fresh for people to move on yet. Many wrongs continue today – most notably in NT. And to be honest, I cannot see the past being reconciled within my lifetime. And that is a great shame.

Rollersk8r 11:10 am 30 Jul 15

I find this topic incredibly frustrating, especially since Goodes has so few games left in his career. All of the issues around Goodes had died down, until whipped up again by a WA crowd, who are very well known as the most hostile in the country.

I’m a hardcore AFL fan and yes, I cheer, yell and boo at games. And I personally reject the statement Australia is a racist country. It’s a lazy sweeping statement that’s impossible to prove one way or the other. I think there’s a very strong argument we’re doing much better than many other countries on tolerance and inclusiveness, especially the USA – and even the UK.

I’d agree to change the date of Australia Day, if it was truly a day everyone could commit to, but that will never happen…

I digress. I never have and never will boo Adam Goodes for anything he says off field or who he is. By the same token I won’t be cheering every time he gets the ball, as has been suggested as a response to racism. AFL is a game – more than any other game – where no player single player is bigger than the team. It’s also an aggressive game – players have been caught saying absolutely despicable things to each other. Fans also make threats and say outrageous things in the heat of the moment. So I don’t really understand how boos can affect such a seasoned professional at the end of his career… Other players are booed their entire career simply by switching clubs…

Anyway. The issue has now blown up so far beyond the AFL world that nobody can plead ignorance to it – and I’m sure it will all die back down.

Southmouth 11:08 am 30 Jul 15

Raheem Sterling got some serious booing last Friday at the MCG. I guess soccer crowds are all racist as well, oh wait, no that was just because he has been behaving badly.

nsee 10:45 am 30 Jul 15

Oh, and have we already forgotten about Dawn Fraser’s little outburst from a few weeks ago?

nsee 10:43 am 30 Jul 15

I think this little debate about Goodes should serve as a reminder to Australians about how racist this country has always been.. until very recently (treating Indigenous Australians as part of the Floral & Fauna Act, the refusal to recognise them in the Constitution, the White Australia policy, etc etc).

It’s easy to say “move on,” that the past is the past, and all the rest, but all these blatantly racist policies were only abolished less than a generation ago. We won’t stop living in a society with racists for several more generations to come.

We only need to look at the refugee policy, which panders to the racist and super-conservative vote to see this.

Telling Adam to get over it, or to write articles childishly titled “Boo Hoo Adam” do not add to the conversation at all – it’s for the most part an attempt to cover up the reality that White Australia is still not ready to front up to the fact that racism is still alive – and that they’re just trying to conceal it.

Nilrem 10:39 am 30 Jul 15

Tooks said :

mcs said :

Tooks said :

robinlburton said :

“I think (the booing) is clearly racist and combines with tall poppy syndrome. You have a proud indigenous man who puts his head up … and this happens.” – Johnathon Thurston

He is also going to perform a war dance if he scores in round 21.

Does he ‘grate’ against you now too?

JT is as dumb as a bucket of bricks. Sleeping with a team mate’s wife wasn’t his finest moment either. Great player though, no doubt.

Perhaps people boo him because he publically bullied and shamed a 13 year old girl. Perhaps they boo him because he is a dirty player. Perhaps they boo him for the comments he’s made (as mentioned by Marcus). There is no doubt in my mind the continual media focus on this issue encourages people to boo him even more. Honestly, what do they think fans are going to do when told: stop booing Goodes.

At some point we have to move forward. Don’t forget the past, but let’s move forward. I find his comments divisive. By all means, bring attention to the issues facing the Aboriginal people, but stop the stupid comments.

I completely agree that the media isn’t helping at all – but the revision of history that is occurring now isn’t helping either.

I keep hearing about him ‘bullying and shaming’ the 13 year old girl. Lets not forget the details of the incident however:
– She made what most would consider to be a clearly racist remark – and most definitely Goodes saw it that way.
– He clearly did not know at the time of pointing her out that she was 13 – he reacted to the comment from the crowd, not the person.
– Yes, she was young and immature, but I don’t think that should be any excuse for ignorance.
– Goodes showed significant compassion and empathy in the aftermath, asking for support, education and empathy for the girl.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-25/goodes-gutted-but-places-no-blame/4712772

Yes, it was an ugly incident, but to suggest it was a case of Goodes ‘bullying and shaming’ her is a real example of the revisionist history that seems to be occurring about that incident.

I don’t buy that it was a racial slur. As a young kid watching footy (the Rugby codes) I’ve called players gorillas (don’t think I ever used the word ape though) to describe players (white-not that that should matter).

The girl and her mother deny it was a racial slur. Are we going to call them liars? Is that fair?

Now if she had yelled something that was clearly and undoubtedly a racial slur, then I’d back his actions 100% as I did with Nicky Winmar so many years ago.

Just because you’ve called players gorillas before doesn’t make it acceptable to call an Indigenouse person an ape. The context is critical. Indigenous people have been likened to apes, or less than human, for centuries, and you can’t ignore this context. It makes all the difference. Walk a mile in the shoes of an Indigenous person.

Mysteryman 10:36 am 30 Jul 15

mcs said :

I keep hearing about him ‘bullying and shaming’ the 13 year old girl. Lets not forget the details of the incident however:
– She made what most would consider to be a clearly racist remark – and most definitely Goodes saw it that way.
– He clearly did not know at the time of pointing her out that she was 13 – he reacted to the comment from the crowd, not the person.
Yes, she was young and immature, but I don’t think that should be any excuse for ignorance.
– Goodes showed significant compassion and empathy in the aftermath, asking for support, education and empathy for the girl.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-25/goodes-gutted-but-places-no-blame/4712772

Yep. Should should have popped straight into the world with an acute sense of race relations. From her first breath she should have known that an insult, commonly used these days to insult people, regardless of colour, for being slow-witted or brutish, had previously (and predominantly before her time) been used for racial vilification.

Definitely her age is no excuse.

/sarcasm.

Ian 10:23 am 30 Jul 15

Anyone thinking the booing of Goodes is not mostly driven by racism is kidding themselves.

Much like anyone thinking the asylum seekers debate is not largely about racism. It is all about the Libs and ALP pandering to the racist voters. I’d guarantee that if the asylum seekers were, lets say, white South Africans fleeing black oppression, those same people would be demanding the government send ships and planes over there to rescue them. Unfortunately, the people seeking asylum now and in recent years are inconveniently brown skinned, and muslim.

chewy14 10:13 am 30 Jul 15

Mcs,
I’ve got to correct one thing and it’s the myth that Aboriginals were governed by the Flora and Fauna Act until the 1967 referendum. I don’t know where this myth comes from, but it just won’t die.

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/03/10/myths-persist-about-1967-referendum

Tooks 10:08 am 30 Jul 15

mcs said :

Tooks said :

robinlburton said :

“I think (the booing) is clearly racist and combines with tall poppy syndrome. You have a proud indigenous man who puts his head up … and this happens.” – Johnathon Thurston

He is also going to perform a war dance if he scores in round 21.

Does he ‘grate’ against you now too?

JT is as dumb as a bucket of bricks. Sleeping with a team mate’s wife wasn’t his finest moment either. Great player though, no doubt.

Perhaps people boo him because he publically bullied and shamed a 13 year old girl. Perhaps they boo him because he is a dirty player. Perhaps they boo him for the comments he’s made (as mentioned by Marcus). There is no doubt in my mind the continual media focus on this issue encourages people to boo him even more. Honestly, what do they think fans are going to do when told: stop booing Goodes.

At some point we have to move forward. Don’t forget the past, but let’s move forward. I find his comments divisive. By all means, bring attention to the issues facing the Aboriginal people, but stop the stupid comments.

I completely agree that the media isn’t helping at all – but the revision of history that is occurring now isn’t helping either.

I keep hearing about him ‘bullying and shaming’ the 13 year old girl. Lets not forget the details of the incident however:
– She made what most would consider to be a clearly racist remark – and most definitely Goodes saw it that way.
– He clearly did not know at the time of pointing her out that she was 13 – he reacted to the comment from the crowd, not the person.
– Yes, she was young and immature, but I don’t think that should be any excuse for ignorance.
– Goodes showed significant compassion and empathy in the aftermath, asking for support, education and empathy for the girl.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-25/goodes-gutted-but-places-no-blame/4712772

Yes, it was an ugly incident, but to suggest it was a case of Goodes ‘bullying and shaming’ her is a real example of the revisionist history that seems to be occurring about that incident.

I don’t buy that it was a racial slur. As a young kid watching footy (the Rugby codes) I’ve called players gorillas (don’t think I ever used the word ape though) to describe players (white-not that that should matter).

The girl and her mother deny it was a racial slur. Are we going to call them liars? Is that fair?

Now if she had yelled something that was clearly and undoubtedly a racial slur, then I’d back his actions 100% as I did with Nicky Winmar so many years ago.

mcs 9:50 am 30 Jul 15

Tooks said :

robinlburton said :

“I think (the booing) is clearly racist and combines with tall poppy syndrome. You have a proud indigenous man who puts his head up … and this happens.” – Johnathon Thurston

He is also going to perform a war dance if he scores in round 21.

Does he ‘grate’ against you now too?

JT is as dumb as a bucket of bricks. Sleeping with a team mate’s wife wasn’t his finest moment either. Great player though, no doubt.

Perhaps people boo him because he publically bullied and shamed a 13 year old girl. Perhaps they boo him because he is a dirty player. Perhaps they boo him for the comments he’s made (as mentioned by Marcus). There is no doubt in my mind the continual media focus on this issue encourages people to boo him even more. Honestly, what do they think fans are going to do when told: stop booing Goodes.

At some point we have to move forward. Don’t forget the past, but let’s move forward. I find his comments divisive. By all means, bring attention to the issues facing the Aboriginal people, but stop the stupid comments.

I completely agree that the media isn’t helping at all – but the revision of history that is occurring now isn’t helping either.

I keep hearing about him ‘bullying and shaming’ the 13 year old girl. Lets not forget the details of the incident however:
– She made what most would consider to be a clearly racist remark – and most definitely Goodes saw it that way.
– He clearly did not know at the time of pointing her out that she was 13 – he reacted to the comment from the crowd, not the person.
– Yes, she was young and immature, but I don’t think that should be any excuse for ignorance.
– Goodes showed significant compassion and empathy in the aftermath, asking for support, education and empathy for the girl.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-25/goodes-gutted-but-places-no-blame/4712772

Yes, it was an ugly incident, but to suggest it was a case of Goodes ‘bullying and shaming’ her is a real example of the revisionist history that seems to be occurring about that incident.

Affirmative Action Man 9:40 am 30 Jul 15

The whole saga has become extremely complicated with many reasons why people are booing. We need to remember that (a) Footballers have always been booed by some fans (b) There is no record of Indigenous players getting booed more than anyone else (c) Aboriginal players who took a stand against racism such as Nicky Winmar & Michael Long were never booed.

The problem seemed to start when Goodes pointed out a 13 yo girl for calling him an ape. Goodes was right to do this however the AFL response was to send burly security men to grab the girl, remove her from her parent’s control despite their protests & frogmarch her out of the stadium.

This caused the public to (unfairly) turn against Goodes who didn’t help matters by provoking his detractors with his spear dance & now we have this awkward situation that is difficult to solve.

I have often booed Goodes because I never liked him as a player. I also booed Barry Hall, Byron Pickett & even Leigh Mathews & many others.

mcs 9:36 am 30 Jul 15

Everyone is entitled to their opinion of Goodes, that is fine. But your one smells of what many opinions do – your comfortable for an aboriginal footballer to be a superstar on the field, but confronted when he is willing to speak up off the field, especially on controversial subjects. As Chewy said, he is entitled to his beliefs, even if you don’t agree with him, and I struggle to see what exactly he has done off the field that is so distasteful.

Frankly, I think it makes so many people uncomfortable, because there is more than a grain of truth to a lot of it.

I understand the angst about the Invasion Day comment, but truth be told, what exactly is wrong with him calling it that? To the Aboriginal People, many do view it as invasion day – and its not up to you, or any other white people, to tell them that it isn’t a reasonable opinion to hold. I support moving the date of Australia day (1 January would make eminent more sense to me). Here is a good, reasoned discussion about it from Dick Smith.

http://www.theage.com.au/comment/the-truth-is-january-26-should-be-first-fleet-day-not-australia-day-20150124-12xb0x.html

Likewise, Goodes’ comments on the constitution, whilst definitely disagreeable for some, are valid and understandable from a proud Aboriginal man. These are the same people until the mid 1960s were governed by the flora and fauna Act. Its about time that, at very least, we have a proper conversation about how to ensure equal recognition of them in the constitution (even if in the end it doesn’t happen).

You speak of Thurston like he is a demi-god for what he does off the field, but you deride Adam Goodes because he has chosen at times to be outspoken. He also does an enormous amount of amazing other work off the field, that never hits the headlines. For instance, his role as an Ambassador for White Ribbon:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-25/australian-of-the-year-goodes-more-work-to-be-done-on-racism/6045170

Or the amazing work he and his mate Micky O’Loughlin are doing through their foundation:

http://www.go-foundation.org/

I’m all for a pantomime villain in any code of football on the field and the obvious reaction to them from the crowd – there are plenty of them around, and many deserve the receptions they get. Quite clearly, a reasonable part of the behaviour in the crowd is driven by this.

But I ask on that point – why has it got imminently worse since 2013, when he chose to say ‘enough is enough’ and point out racism when it occurred? It is of course very likely to be a tiny minority that are doing it for racist reasons – but it has got to a point where the masses are providing cover for these people, through the multitude of other reasons quoted. What Goodes is now getting on the field is far beyond the scale that any other villians have got on the field.

Perhaps it just comes down to you having a preference for your Aboriginal footballers to ‘play footy but be quiet’, not to actually speak up, be proud of their culture and actually seek to make changes for the better to the world. Goodes will always be a divisive figure, but you’ve fallen into the trap that many have – being selective in your fact presentation and telling only part of the story.

Also, I’d like a link to where Goodes called the crowd ‘bigots’ for booing…. he may well have, but I missed it if he did. Indeed, Chris Scott, Geelong coach, has said used that exact term in recent days, but I can’t recall Goodes saying it (indeed he may have and I missed it) http://www.afl.com.au/news/2015-07-29/boo-goodes-and-you-show-you-are-a-bigot-says-chris-scott

I’d also like to know what you think of these comments from Thurston – given your obvious dislike for the war dance, and your man crush for Thurston. Are you suddenly going to turn on him as well?

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/sport/league/johnathan-thurston-hopes-to-perform-aboriginal-war-dance-in-support-of-adam-goodes-q03514

Overall, I don’t agree with everything in this article, but a lot of it strikes significant resonance with me – and in many ways helps explain why Goodes is viewed differently to many others.

https://newmatilda.com/2015/06/01/not-so-level-playing-field-why-we-love-cathy-freeman-and-hate-adam-goodes

Tooks 9:33 am 30 Jul 15

robinlburton said :

“I think (the booing) is clearly racist and combines with tall poppy syndrome. You have a proud indigenous man who puts his head up … and this happens.” – Johnathon Thurston

He is also going to perform a war dance if he scores in round 21.

Does he ‘grate’ against you now too?

JT is as dumb as a bucket of bricks. Sleeping with a team mate’s wife wasn’t his finest moment either. Great player though, no doubt.

Perhaps people boo him because he publically bullied and shamed a 13 year old girl. Perhaps they boo him because he is a dirty player. Perhaps they boo him for the comments he’s made (as mentioned by Marcus). There is no doubt in my mind the continual media focus on this issue encourages people to boo him even more. Honestly, what do they think fans are going to do when told: stop booing Goodes.

At some point we have to move forward. Don’t forget the past, but let’s move forward. I find his comments divisive. By all means, bring attention to the issues facing the Aboriginal people, but stop the stupid comments.

robinlburton 9:10 am 30 Jul 15

“I think (the booing) is clearly racist and combines with tall poppy syndrome. You have a proud indigenous man who puts his head up … and this happens.” – Johnathon Thurston

He is also going to perform a war dance if he scores in round 21.

Does he ‘grate’ against you now too?

chewy14 8:02 am 30 Jul 15

I disagree that Goodes is way “out of form” off the field, he simply has his own political beliefs and he’s entitled to them even though I personally disagree with them. And I dont believe it’s racist in the slightest to disagree with his politics.

And I beleive there’s many different reasons why he gets booed, from those you’ve listed above, to his team, his play and no doubt some racial elements from a minority few.

But it’s now gone beyond what Goodes does or doesn’t do, he’s now seen as a symbol and the more certain sections of the media talk about this and label everyone who doesn’t agree with them “racists”, the worse it will get. It’s the exact same reason why Tony Abbott or Bill Shorten would get mercilessly booed, they might be nice people in real life but others dislike what they represent, they dislike their “side”.

Once again the media and their politically correct cheer squad are making things worse for a man they claim to be trying to help. A man who does good things in the community and should be respected.

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