Overnight, Perth Stadium management confirmed that two fans were ejected from Sunday’s Sydney Swans–West Coast Eagles clash for making racist slurs against Adam Goodes.
The fans, one of whom yelled at the indigenous player to “go back to the zoo”, were ejected in line with the venue’s racial vilification policy, a thing that it sadly needs to have because shit like this keeps happening.
During Sunday’s game, young Swans player Lewis Jetta directed a war dance at a rowdy section of the crowd, later saying that he is fed-up with the ongoing abuse that his mate and mentor has copped of late.
Yesterday, Jetta’s father called Gillon McLachlan, the chief of the AFL, to discuss the impact that the treatment of Goodes is having on a wide range of people across the sport.
The official Sydney Swans website now carries a statement from McLachlan, asking fans to be considerate and stop with their “ugly” treatment of Goodes:
“I think there has obviously been a campaign for some months now against one player and the booing has been going on for some time against Adam Goodes and I think we’re at the stage where people don’t even know why they’re doing it.”“I want to make the comment that it’s obviously hurting Adam, but it’s (also) hurting a lot of people in our industry. We’ve got the best supporters in the world … (but) I want to remind people actually that it’s got to the point now where it’s having an impact and ask people to refrain.”“It’s been going on at an unprecedented level for many months and it’s ugly and it’s having an impact. We’ve got great supporters, I can’t tell them what to do but I ask them to consider that going forward.”
The AFL Players’ Association are equally fed up, and overnight, released a statement to that effect, saying that they are “extremely disappointed with the ongoing and unjustified treatment directed towards Adam Goodes.”
“The AFLPA, AFL and Sydney Swans and Adam will meet tomorrow to further discuss our respective concerns. Adam is a champion of our game, but above and beyond that he is a champion human being and the ongoing vilification directed towards him is taking its toll. The AFL industry prides itself on its inclusivity and diversity for both players and fans.”
In May of this year, Goodes caused a stir when he performed a “war cry” in front of Collingwood fans as a gesture of indigenous pride; his Wikipedia entry was subsequently defaced, and he has been booed at many subsequent games this season.
One of the fans ejected from Sunday’s game, who declined to be named in an interview with news.com.au, used the old “political correctness gone mad” defence.
“It was a flippant, off-the-cuff remark and the players would not have heard it for all the booing and banter coming from the crowd,” the fan said. “The whole world has gone too politically correct. It was just part of the banter of the game.”
Photo: Cameron Spencer via Getty Images