Two years ago in 2015 I was unfortunate enough to be in the crowd at the West Coast versus Sydney game at Domain Stadium.
West Coast won but something else was lost that day. The inclusion factor of a sport that aims for equality across games and teams.
This inclusion factor because Adam Goodes and to a lesser extent Lewis Jetta were booed repeatedly by almost the whole stadium. It was the worst thing I have ever seen on a footy pitch.
The worst thing is that only a few started the booing and then most of the crowd joined in. People said it wasn’t racial but you are kidding yourself if you believe otherwise. This was the latter part of Goodes’ career.
A true champion with two Brownlow Medals and an exemplary character and reputation. And it was shattered by a few disillusioned people coupled with the weak minds of the many.
I thought I’d never see something like this again. I hoped I wouldn’t but I did two weeks ago during the showdown when Eddie Betts was racially vilified using derogatory language. It’s quite ridiculous and astounding that this practice continues.
If people aren’t happy with their teams performance don’t take it out on the opposition. Eddie Betts is arguably the best small forward of all time and he doesn’t deserve such an unfounded verbal bashing. It is weak and shameful.
When will footy just be something that can be purely enjoyed? It mirrors life, it has its up and downs and the racial vilification should stop.
I hope it never does but it begs the question as to what the AFL is doing. I mean the Port Adelaide and Adelaide Crows made a video to promote peace but this shouldn’t be happening.
This sort of behaviour needs to properly and specifically policed and automatic bans handed out to entire sports grounds in future.
This will deter any other budding, cowardly racists. Whats the next step? Maybe an Indigenous Australian as AFL CEO or as a senior coach?
The only way should be up for widespread reconciliation in the AFL. And this only starts with making the footy a pure thing just to enjoy.