AFL 3 years ago

The line between Goodes and bad

  • The line between Goodes and bad
  • The line between Goodes and bad

The incessant and relentless booing of Adam Goodes might be racially motivated. It might be motivated by his on field style of play. It could even be motivated by his off field attitude and demeanor that seems to have so many noses out of joint. It might even be a combination of these things and more. I don't think we will ever know the true reasons why Goodes is booed. However we don't need to know.

While racism is clearly a practice that is so heavily discouraged, this topic isn't the real issue facing the AFL, the Sydney Swans or Adam Goodes right now. Essendon's Brendon Goddard speaking on popular sports show AFL 360 described the booing as "extreme bullying". BJ, you hit the nail on the head there mate.

When all is said and done, whatever the reason for disliking Goodes, by booing, he is being bullied. You would be hard pressed to find a person who has never heard the colloquialism "two wrongs don't make a right". Just about everyone in Australia has been taught this as a child, taught it to their child or will teach it to their child.

Imagine the confusion when this child accompanies their parents to a Swans game and hears their parents along with the legions of opposition fans echo a primal "boo". This confusion exacerbated when the child hears  from their parents their reasoning "because he is a flog". Is this a case of do as I say and not as I do? We all know how that will end up.

By justifying the boo, we are justifying the unjustifiable. Via our actions we are telling children and adults everywhere the bullying is acceptable if we think we have a good reason. Newsflash: No it isn't. If this occurred in a workplace, if you had a general dislike for a co-worker for whatever reason and booed them every time they tried to do their job, your next career move will be applying for unemployment benefits. It isn't acceptable there, it isn't acceptable at a children's sports event or schools, so there is no reason for it to be acceptable at AFL.

One particular justification some might have is comparing the booing of Goodes to that which Essendon skipper Jobe Watson received after confirming he took a thought to be banned AOD-9604. Some will bring up the jeers and boos emitted by the Sydney crowd in Round 1 whenever James Hird was shown on the big screen. The reality is that these cases aren't actually different. They are still cases of bullying, yet somehow it is justified that because the Essendon booing happened, the booing of Goodes is ok and it simply isn't. Two wrongs don't make a right remember?

A clear distinction needs to be made between the short term booing that occurs when a player changes clubs. This is a sign of the crowd considering the defector a traitor and letting them know about it. This article is in no way condoning that behaviour but it is a little bit more understandable. The boos subside after a game or two.

The Adam Goodes booing is a lot more sinister than this. It is saying "I don't like you so I'm going to harass you at every opportunity" and it has to stop. As does the booing of Watson, Hird, Sam Mitchell, Lindsey Thomas and every other player or figure who incessantly gets booed for no reason other than a general dislike for something they have done or been accused of doing.

Time to show some class and close this topic - a topic that should not even be coming up.

Thoughts? Leave them in the comments below.

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