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Off to The Racists…
30 / 07 / 2015
Does Francis Leach need any introduction? To Generation X, find he will always be fondly remembered as one of the stalwarts from the glory days of JJJ, when it united the youth of Australia and helped them carve out their own unique culture. To sports fans, he’s the encyclopediac font of sporting knowledge from SEN Radio. To Indigenous Australians, he is a long time supporter and staunch friend, quietly and humbly lending his formidable talents and energies to any number of Indigenous causes. He’s also April 2014 Bonza Sheila Lynne Haultain’s other half. Oh, and he writes like a prince among men. With his permission (thanks Francis!) we reproduce his ripper article on Adam Goodes.
What a redneck wonderland footy has become.
Every weekend, somewhere in Australia, Adam Goodes steps out onto a footy field.
Simultaneously, an army of gutless drongos get ready to express their contempt for him, hiding anonymously in the choir of clowns who boo his every step.
Hey, bigots, don’t get me wrong. I defend your right to express your unfathomable sense of outrage and injustice. It must burn long and deep. Probably over the spiralling price of a pie at the footy or the quality of the rubbish beer your force yourself to drink whilst acting like obnoxious school kids.
Your worries and concerns must weigh heavily on your poor benighted souls. So knock yourselves out. Boo away. At least have the courage though to admit what it is.
Naked, loud, contemptible, pathetic and unashamed.
None of this crap about Goodes staging for free kicks, being a “sniper” or sweet talking the umpires is the reason for the booing.
Don’t use football as shield for your prejudice.
Adam Goodes has made it quite clear he hears those boos as a statement on his race and culture.
Blokes like Goodes tend to have a finely tuned radar for racism. When you have been living with it all your life you learn to speak it’s many ugly languages.
So when he tells you what it means to him and you choose to boo, you’re confirming to him and every other indigenous footballer what you’re really about.
What you don’t like and can’t abide is that Adam Goodes won’t be the Aboriginal footballer you want him to be.
He refuses to simply be the smiling face of AFL Indigenous Round where the game’s self congratulation goes into over drive and Aboriginal people are celebrated in a set of proscribed rituals that say nothing about the true state of affairs and everything about our need to be absolved from responsibility.
A smoking ceremony here. A ceremonial dance there. A welcome to country and then goodbye, onto the next costume party.
No, Goodes wants to look you in the eye and talk about who we really are and where we’re really at. Goodes wants to confront racism and its uncomfortable truths. In the stands you sit in, the mines you work in, the boardrooms you meet in, the homes you live in.
He won’t simply be the Aboriginal man you want him to be.
And with your symphony of boos you’ve made it quite clear where you stand.
The fact that you fuel your own sense of outrage at Goodes and Lewis Jetta’s “war dance” shows how feeble minded and self righteous you are.
Where’s your sense of outrage at the appalling gap in life expectancy for indigenous people?
The massive over representation of indigenous people in jail?
The continuing scourge of deaths in custody?
Your silence is deafening on those issues. Your outrage reserved for a man who dances on the footy field.
And whilst you’re booing ever louder and ever longer you can try drown out the truth of these things.
You can’t. And you won’t.
Because Adam Goodes’ legacy will endure long after your hollow howls ring out.
And that must hurt the most.
Image: SBS Australia