Football commentator Gerard Whateley has branded the booing of Adam Goodes as ‘shameful’, and said that he fears Goodes could be “booed into retirement.”
According to the ABC, this follows the constant booing of Goodes through Sydney’s loss to West Coast in Perth on Sunday.
What’s more, the boos prompted Goodes’ team mate Lewis Jetta to “‘recreate Goodes’ spear-throwing wardance celebration after scoring a goal, in a show of support.”
Like clockwork, Whateley, and others attribute the booing of Goodes to race:
“At its heart here there is a racist element. Not everyone booing is a racist but you are covering up the racist element.
“Stop, and let the racists boo and then call them out, because this is disgustuing [sic].
“We are driving Adam Goodes to the end of his career. He’ll probably finish at the end of this season and he is going to be booed into retirement.”
I must admit, I’m not much of a football fan, so I don’t know the whole story with Goodes, and have only picked up snippets of this ongoing saga over the last few months. But I do remember his performance of a war dance a few months ago which was clearly directed to the opposition crowd. Is this appropriate behavior for a professional sportsman and role model? Other players have been firmly reprimanded for similar aggressive gestures.
It appears that Goodes himself is responsible for at least fueling an antagonistic relationship between himself and opposition crowds, which can only ultimately detract from the game.
Make no mistake, the continued booing of Goodes is personal, and is overshadowing competition. But is it the AFL’s place to tell fans when and who they can boo?
Furthermore, is Adam Goodes the first football player to attract the persistent ire of opposition crowds? I doubt it.
Then perhaps the booing of Goodes has more to do with his tool like behavior, than his Aboriginality?
The crux of the matter is that Goodes is being judged by the public for his actions, not his skin colour. Like so many he asks for exoneration from the consequences of what he does, and progressives enable and encourage him, silencing any criticism for his behavior by citing the race card.
It just isn’t cricket.