Yesterday will have to go down as one of the best days in the post ice era of the West Coast Eagles as their players saw to the systematic destruction of reigning grand finalists Sydney, and their fans showed that they are not racist by showering boos on Adam Goodes for all the right reasons.
Some have speculated that the booing of Goodes is racially motivated, but such speculation overlooks the facts. It is clear that Adam Goodes is not booed because he is Aboriginal. It is even highly unlikely that he is booed because of his stance on racial issues in Australia.
When considering these sorts of issues it is important to remember that Australian fans, sportsmen, coaches and commentators have an exemplary record in embracing the Longs, Winmars and Tahus of the world. I think we’ve earned the benefit of the doubt if the odd joke about primates or falafels doesn’t come across that well.
Adam Goodes is booed because of a combination of his being a bad footballer, a dirty player, a bad bloke and just because. That much is clear.
Now, at first glance some of these reasons may appear to lack rigour, be a little vague, and overlook the blinding obvious, but look a little closer: they are all facts.
Adam Goodes is clearly a terrible footballer. In the hundred plus year history of the game at least 7 people have played more games than him; 2 of them are still playing for crying out loud. Moreover, 15 people in history have polled more Brownlow votes than him. Seriously, the guy would be lucky to get a kick for the Katanning Wanderers. These are just facts.
And dirty, well, again, it is all about the facts. Goodes has been reported five times over the course of his 360 plus game career. That is almost twice as many times as Nat Fyfe has been reported this season. Filthy. From those five reports Goodes has been suspended twice. For one week each time. That is as many times as Luke Hodge has been suspended this season and as many times as Jordan Lewis has been suspended for belting Todd Goldstein in the head. Although they both got more weeks, it is the way that Goodes goes about it rather than the raw numbers that makes him so dirty. Still facts, just need to view them contextually.
And when it comes to being a bad bloke, well, Goodesy is the worst. He isn’t the sort of bad bloke who sleeps with a teammate’s wife, engages in sex acts with minors, sets fire to paid entertainers or engages in criminal assault. He is more your insidious bad bloke, the kind who donates his time to projects such as the Indigenous Advisory Board, the GOFoundation, which provides scholarships for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education and numerous other programs designed to support Indigenous communities. Bad bloke. Fact.
Taking in all the facts, and Australia’s exemplary record on race relations and embracing indigenous athletes, it would be racist not to boo Adam Goodes.