afl

Adam Goodes: Why are we kicking someone while they’re down?

Normally Twitter is not the place to get a clear opinion out there, with its 140 character limit, but yesterday comedian Nazeem Hussain was able to do exactly that.

His tweet read: “Aust racism is so futuristic that racists become victims for being called racist & victims become aggressors for calling it out #AdamGoodes”

I’m not writing this to discuss why crowds are booing Adam Goodes. What ever made up reason you have for doing so I don’t want to hear about it.

Firstly, I want to talk about the incident between Goodes and a thirteen year old girl that took place two years ago. When he was called a ape from the cheer squad, he rightly pointed her out.

From that moment on we only got excuses. I heard “She didn’t deserve to be called out because of her age”, “he embarrassed her in front of a massive crowd” and “she didn’t do anything wrong because she didn’t know what it meant”. I don’t know which one of those is the biggest cop out.

I can say with the 100% certainty the only way to make a change, is to speak about it. Goodes called her out and spoke about it. Unfortunately nothing has changed.

I remember sitting down to watch the first Australian Idol grand final between Guy Sebastian and Shannon Noll. As a massive fan of Shannon Noll (at the time I should add, Guy has gone on to be well accomplished singer, the only one out of all these shows to make a impact overseas I should add) I made a joke saying I didn’t want “gay Guy” to win. I was told off immediately. I didn’t even know what gay meant at the time or even what I was saying, but I understood from then on it wasn’t right.

Unfortunately not the same can be said for this situation. She didn’t know what she was saying, and at the time she did say sorry, but she couldn’t of meant it that much if her Mum has know come out in her defence saying she felt victimised by Goodes.

She said, “If he hadn’t acted like a pork chop it wouldn’t of mattered”. Basically saying he brought it on himself.

Joanne, the mother of the girl, isn’t the only one to tell Goodes how he should of acted or how he should take the booing. Any public figure who wants to get their name back into the headlines (I’m looking at you Shane Warne and Jason Akermanis) has put their hand up and offered an opinion. Majority of these people who are telling him that he is being a “sook” have something in common. They have never been discriminated against based on their gender, race, or sexuality.

It’s incredibly hard to walk in someone else’s shoes, which is why no one can really understand how Adam Goodes is thinking. The only person that can understand how he is thinking is the man himself, but I can tell you this. When you go through life being discriminated against, and then have to listen to a crowd of football supporters heckle you every time you touch the ball, it feels like it may be that exact reason due to past experiences.

And look maybe out of all those people booing, maybe only a hand full of them were truly racist. Maybe the rest really just don’t like him as a player. What ever the reason is, it was effecting him.
As a nation we proudly celebrate “Movemeber” which not only raises awareness for prostate cancer, but also for men’s mental health. We have government org’s that are trying to reduces the stigma surrounding men and their mental health. Only for Goodes to be told that he’s a sook and he need’s to suck it up.

Even the Chairman of Beyond Blue himself, Jeff Kennett, joined in with the chorus. Kennett said, “as good a player as he is…he is provocative”. This came after we had been told that Goodes was “genuinely struggling”

Saying that he basically brought it on himself is a terribly thing to say when someone isn’t doing well. Is that what we as a nation stand for? To lay the boot into someone when their down.

I don’t care if you’ve played over 300 games like Adam or you’ve walked away from your first game. I don’t care what colour of skin you’ve got. I don’t care if you’ve done something “provocative”. If you walk away from playing a game of football, and end up feeling like he is, then it’s time for us, as a sporting community to back off.

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