Let us go to the school yard. An average school yard in an average suburb. Here, we find Fred. Fred has been picked on by a small group of bullies for a while now. Most of the time he can just brush it off, but when they go and pick on children smaller than him, he gets upset. He's often been to the teachers about it, and while they've managed to help make the group of bullies smaller, they've not quite been able to stamp them out yet. One day, Fred manages to completely one-up this group of bullies, calling them out on their bullshit and making it as clear as day what's going on. Suddenly, Fred finds himself under attack from just about every student in the school. And this goes on for months.
Sound familiar? Would you accept this if you were a student at Freds school? Would you participate in the systematic bullying that began to plague the poor child?
This is what has happened to Adam Goodes. Simply for having a voice and using it to try and bring a very serious issue to light, he's now being beaten down by the fans of our once-great sport.
Let me make this clear: If Adam Goodes, or any other player, takes a shot for goal at the Gabba, he's fair game for a good booing (I still reckon with a bit of work us Lions fans can generate enough booing power to start affecting goal accuracy). If Adam Goodes, or any other player, during the course of a game, takes out one of my boys (ESPECIALLY Joel Patfull or Justin Clarke), then he will suffer booing until the end of the game. If Adam Goodes, or any other player, ducks their head within the last 20 seconds of the last game of the season and doesn't get pinged for it causing us to lose by a point and our chance at finals I WILL NEVER FORGIVE PAUL CHAPMAN OR MCBURNEY! Sorry, forgot myself there for a second. The point of this paragraph is that there are some good reasons to boo a player within the context of the game. Hell, even turning traitor and racking off to another Club should earn a player a welcome booing when he gets back home (another reason why you never, ever see me attend a Lions/Giants game ever again).
In the situations above though, the booing should realistically end after the final siren, or be done by only one team. Not multiple teams across multiple games every time the poor bloke touches the footy. I can understand maybe the Carlton fans having a go from now on (they were on the receiving end of the war dance after all, which I still think is great theatre and needs to be seen more. Where are the Irish jigs as well?!), but what has Adam Goodes done to the Lions (well, apart from completely destroying us every time he plays us), the Eagles, the Scums, North, Richmond or Hawthorn?
I hear the argument that "He shouldn't be using AFL for this sort of thing." And to that I say well, what about Indigenous Round, Multicultural Round, Womens Round? What about the many causes that get played for during the year, like teams who play to support the Police, or even recently the Riewoldt family using the Richmond/Saints game as a vehicle to support those who suffer from bone marrow disease? Footy is supposed to bring people together, it's supposed to be a place where no matter what colours you wear, when one of us suffers, the rest come in and support them. We saw the greatest example of this when Phil Walsh tragically died. The AFL community came together so strongly and it's even just about ended the decades-long bitter hostilities between the two most hated rivals of the game.
So why aren't we getting around Adam Goodes? I'd hazard a guess and say he's feeling pretty isolated at the moment. He's trying to do the right thing by others, and stick up for those who might not be able to defend themselves (pretty Australian if you ask me). I have to ask, if you're not racist, then why does it offend you so much that he's making the big deal out of it that needs to be made? People really need to ask themselves what they get out of booing, because "because he's a cheap, sniping player" isn't cutting it. As far as I'm concerned, the Paul Chapmans/Selwoods/Lindsay Thomases/Brent Harveys/Hayden Ballantynes/Chris Judds/Scums (wow, I really don't like a lot of players, especially the entire Cold Toast Scums team) aren't worth the waste of breath (although on the day of the Torp back in 2012 I used the Port-coloured Record cover to wipe my seat. Satisfying).
So Adam, if on the off-chance you read this, don't give up. As Ghandi once said:
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."
Also, could you please go easy on the Giants? Thanks!