Goodes grief

Ever think to yourself, ‘This stack of Adam Goodes commentary needs more of my stupid opinions”? I did! Allow me to present it now. Perhaps you could boo it.

For those of you that have no idea what I’m talking about, Australian Rules footballer Adam Goodes has recently found himself to be in the unique position as being the league’s most divisive player. This man is a champion of the game, former Australian of the Year, and works tirelessly in the community outside of his football obligations instead of getting wrecked on a weekend and generally being a bit of a dick, unlike many of his footballing peers. 

Adam plays the game in a way that some people don’t like. He has now twice on the field in the last 2 years drawn specific attention to the fact that he is Indigenous to the Australian continent. Now he has found that for the last couple of weeks he has been booed and jeered by an entire stadium of football fans every time he comes near the ball (up to 30 times per game in many cases). This is not a common occurence – in fact it’s quite out of the ordinary, and it’s come to the point where he has taken a leave of absence from his club the Sydney Swans to spend time with close family. 

A very loud portion of our community are saying that he has brought it on himself, he is being precious, and that his on field troubles with the crowd are not racially motivated.Like many opinions as I outline in a previous post, opinions are often terrible and must be called out for what they are.

Much of the argument to date attempting to justify Adam’s predicament focuses on that one time that he was called an ‘ape’ while playing in Indigenous Round in 2013 by 13 year old girl. At the time, not knowing that she was so young but only hearing a disgustingly racist slur come flying from over the boundary, he reacted in a pretty brave manner and called said individual out. At the time, he had no idea she was 13 years old, and simply called out somebody that he had heard somebody call him an ‘ape’ – on Indigenous Round, of all rounds. Since then he has said that at her age she is unlikely to fully understand what she was saying, but that somebody in her immediate surrounds on a day to day basis must have primed her with this sort of language, and that this is the larger issue that must be addressed. But NOPE, apparently that’s not good enough Adam, how very dare you defend your heritage and identity in such a visible way.

Then the war dance in, again, Indigenous round this year. Regardless of the fact that that’s what we want to see on Indigenous Round, apparently he is ‘asking for it’ with such a display. Australia exploded because he celebrated Indigenous Round. I celebrate Privileged White Male Round every other weekend of the year by sipping a latte and living smugly in extreme comfort. Where are my boos? I assure you that I am constantly in everybody’s face with my whiteness. The argument, particularly from Alan Jones, is that the backlash is not racially based, but he is generally not liked, people are reacting to the way that he plays the game, and now he has shoved his ‘Indigenousness’ in Australia’s face and we think that he’s a shit bloke because of it. Hilariously, that is actually the very definition of ‘racially based’. 

And, further it is actually classic victim-blaming. He was just asking for it, going out at night all Indigenous and proud like that.

Those who use the argument that no other Indigenous player is booed like Goodes are comparing apples and oranges. Those other players, teammate Lewis Jetta included (who used the very same war dance to retaliate to the crowd) have not paraded their pride in heritage to anywhere near the extent that Goodes has. They’re not on the regular news, pre 5.45 when the sport news comes on, being all Australian of the year as if they own the place.

And that there is pretty much the crux of the issue from where I stand. Other Indigenous players are proud of their heritage, but much of the time they don’t tend to come out into the spotlight too much. They do their thing, Australia feels good about how inclusive it is, and then they shrink back again until they are next ‘needed’. 

Adam has the gall to believe that he is entitled to be an Indigenous Australian in clear view of us all 24/27, with the same vehemence as we hold our own racial identity. And holy motherfucking shit has that upset some people.

It’s kind of like tall poppy syndrome, but so much more nefarious

To those saying that not every member of the crowd is racist as an argument that it’s not racially motivated (looking at you Rita Panahi and Allan Jones). Of course they aren’t all racist. That’s ridiculous. But they sure are following the loud minority quite loudly. This is a great demonstration of Herd Mentality in which, basically speaking, large groups can end up doing some really stupid and dangerous things. Just take the average intelligence of the vocal leaders of a crowd and divide it by the number of people in it – that’s how stupid a group can act in this sort of scenario.

And to those who are claiming that this talk is just leftist nonsense and that they’re ‘right to boo’ is being infringed upon. You have to be weapons grade stupid to boo Adam Goodes at this stage of the saga, knowing that many, many, MANY of the people that started booing him and still do are doing so because they are disgustingly racist weasels. Suspend your right to act like a brattish 4 year old for just a couple of seconds until the next Swans player picks it up for fucks sake. The world contains more nuance than your petty rights to act like a child. Goodes’s right to not be bullied at his workplace outweighs your right to be a dickhead.

But mah rights…

And that’s pretty much what it’s become now. With the racially based taunts and then the thoughtless follow up crowd behaviour to boo him with every touch of the ball, it’s just become straight up bullying. 

He doesn’t deserve it and he hasn’t asked for it. It’s about time he was allowed to get on with it. 

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