Adam Goodes is a legend of the AFL regardless of how you look at it. His achievements are quite extensive: 2x Brownlow Medal winner (AFL most valuable player), 3x Bob Skilton Medal (Sydney Swans Best and Fairest award), 2x AFL premierships (1 as captain), 4x All Australian selection, selection in Indigenous Team of the Century, and awarded Australian of the year in 2014.
As well as being a great player, Goodes is also humble and very team oriented.
Goodes has always been very outspoken about his Aboriginality, using his platform of success to help educate Australians on Aboriginal culture and bridging the gap between white Australians. This outspokenness has brought some inevitable criticism. Everything came to a head when Goodes pointed out a 13 year-old girl on the other side of the fence who called him an “ape” in 2013. This is the moment when racism in the AFL once again became a frequent topic. Goodes spoke about how the comment made him feel as a person and how offensive it is for Aboriginal people to be referred to as apes. He also spoke about the gutting feeling he felt as he turned around to see that the comment had come from a young girl.
"To come to the boundary line and hear a 13 year-old girl call me an 'ape', and it's not the first time on a footy field that I've been referred to as a 'monkey' or an 'ape', it was shattering.”
"It's not her fault, she's 13, she's still so innocent, I don't put any blame on her," he said.
"Unfortunately it's what she hears, in the environment she's grown up in that has made her think that it's OK to call people names.”
"I guarantee she has no idea right now how it makes people feel to call them an ape.”
Goodes was supported, but also heavily criticised for the way he singled out the spectator. Watch how he obviously points out the young girl from the crowd.
Since then Goodes has also received warranted criticism for diving and sliding with his knees to make a tackle (this is illegal and dangerous).
The latest booing saga has plagued Sydney Swans games and the AFL since late 2014 and has continued deep into the 2015 season.
On Indigenous Round of the 2015 season against Calton, Goodes performed an aggressive goal celebration dance aimed at a small contingent of Calton fans who had been booing him throughout the game, depicting a spear throwing action. Goodes clarified after the game that young Aboriginal footballers had taught him the dance.
The AFL community went into meltdown following this event.
This video shows the view held by many Australians following the event:
Sam Newman is correct in that this event inflamed the situation, as did the identification of the 13 year-old girl.
But should Goodes have to cop the criticism? Should he have to remain silent as he is called an ape? Isn't he allowed to express his culture?
It has been argued that he could have done it differently, but I can understand his manner after dealing with it for a great length of time.
Most recently, Lewis Jetta, a fellow Aboriginal player on the Sydney Swans team, did a similar dance after a goal he kicked against the West Coast Eagles in round 17 of 2015. Jetta later clarified that the dance was directed at West Coast supporters (who are known for their hostility towards opposing teams) who were booing Goodes.
People don’t like Adam Goodes because he is outspoken.
People say they boo Adam Goodes because of the way he plays the game and the way he pointed out the 13 year-old girl.
However, I think this dislike for Goodes and the consequent booing stems from his speaking out against racism. Goodes pulls us up as a country when we show undertones of racism, he tells us how that makes him and his people feel, he tackles the problem head on and points out things that make us uncomfortable. I think that is why he is disliked – he calls us to account and shows us how to behave. Yes, the way he plays the game may contribute to the hostility toward him, but ultimately, we don’t like to be told that we are wrong and that we need to change.
It is similar with our relationship with God isn't it: God says, “live this way” and we say, “stuff you, God!”
We reject God’s authority because we don't want to be told how to live. That is called sin.
Imagine how Adam Goodes must feel. He's been a legend of the AFL and played his heart out for his team. He has educated Australians about his culture and people, and in return he's has received a lot of criticism and backlash. He has decided not to play this weekend against the Adelaide Crows (a game in which he is desperately needed) and he is contemplating retirement from AFL altogether. We have seen glimpses into how he is feeling in the media this week – he is burdened beyond what he can bear.
Imagine how God felt when He created us, gave us everything we could possibly need, told us that he would look after us, that he would be our God.
And we say no! I want to be my own god.
God could have given up, he could have left us to be our own gods, to ruin our lives and burn in hell. But He didn’t. Instead, He humbled himself and became a man. Jesus! And His aim when he came to earth was to take our punishment for wanting to be our own god (sin). He takes away our punishment of burning in hell that we are duly owed!
We chose to reject him and now should suffer the consequences, but God decided He wanted to reconcile the relationship with us.
Thank you Adam for showing us our racism and how we can help bridge the gap with Aboriginal people and thank you God for showing us our sin, reconciling our relationship, and for saving us from the punishment we deserve.