Adam Goodes has praised fans who take a stand against racism and says growing signs of self-regulation among supporters is proof that racism in sport can be stamped out.
Despite the disappointment of two incidents of racial abuse in the game last weekend directed at Goodes and Western Bulldogs’ Neville Jetta, the Sydney Swans star is encouraged by the culture of intolerance to racism growing among most fans.
Throughout his career, Goodes campaigned heavily to eradicate racism from sport, following in the footsteps of other indigenous AFL stars such as Nicky Winmar. He believes that years of making a stance against such abuse is resulting in a culture of self-regulation among fans.
Speaking at the launch of the Swans guernsey for the indigenous round, designed by his mother Lisa Sansbury, Goodes was moved by the general response to the racism that marred last weekend’s round.
“I’m very proud, that’s what we want people to do is self-regulate. That’s what we want all of us to do in the community, is self-regulate when we see something we don’t agree with,” Goodes said. “We all have core values and, when we see people go outside those core values, we should feel the right to say something and call that person out.
“For it to be actually put in motion now and for people to do it to people that are on the same team as them – supporting the same team – just shows you that there’s no place in the community for racism and people are drawing a line in the sand.”
There was no hiding his disappointment with the incident, as well as the resulting racist attacks on social media, but Goodes said hiding from racism was not an option. The Australian of the Year ignored the minority of racist comments, but said he would maintain an online presence as he believed it achieved more good than harm.
“How do we control it? It’s very hard. One way to control it is to not be on social media, but I think social media can be such a positive tool for getting the right messages out there,” Goodes said. “Don’t attach yourself to it, there’s a lot more positive things and good people out there to focus on than to worry about negative stuff that people want to say towards you.”
The Swans will wear the custom jersey, which represents the natural geography of Sydney as well as communities, in the AFL’s indigenous round when they play Geelong on Thursday.The jersey also draws inspiration from the passing of his mother’s sister.
“It’s a really special round for a couple of reasons,” Goodes said. “The club asked me if mum would like to design the jumper many months ago and she was very, very honoured to be able to do that … There are lots of circles on the guernsey, which are all connected, which means that the land is connected with the water. There’s a beautiful story in there, and the story is a tribute to my late aunty Margaret, who passed away a year-and-a-half ago.”
Goodes has played four games this season in his comeback from injury and has welcomed the recognition of the AFL’s indigenous round as he continues working back to peak form.
“It’s a really special round and I know I walk out a little bit prouder knowing that we have a round to celebrate our culture and our people,” Goodes said.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.