So there is was. Another round down, another step towards September. So what was the biggest story out of another weekend packed full of action?
Was it Port’s return to form? Was it Collingwood, with a stunning comeback, announcing themselves as legitimate contenders? Was it Fremantle continuing on their winning way, or Sydney and Hawthorn continuing to show there really are three sides well in front of any of the others?
Was it the Eagles belting yet another visitor to the West, or Richmond finally finding some consistent form? Or perhaps it was the Giants coming back to earth with a thump?
While it could have been any of the aforementioned, the sad reality is that the biggest AFL news story out the nine games of football was all about a post-goal celebration.
Seriously I thought we as a society had moved on a little more than perhaps we have. If so, then can someone explain to me how something which was done as a celebration of Adam Goodes’ culture, during a round which celebrates his culture, can cause such tidal wave of controversy?
It has become the most critiqued ‘dance’ since the Dancing With The Stars grand finale. Really? Seriously? I’ve certainly seen a lot more offensive things on a football field. I’ve seen more offensive stuff on junior footy fields.
And what will we next be outraged by? What about all those athletes who, after winning, point to the heavens in praise of God? How dare they thrust their religious beliefs onto us? Or if a player raises a fist to the crowd after booting a goal? Is he ‘merely celebrating’ or trying to incite a riot among rival fans?
Really, as Goodes himself suggested, some people need to “take a chill pill”.
At first look I too thought, wow, what’s this? It’s one hell of a celebration for a second quarter goal. I also considered it was perhaps a ‘cop that’ from Goodes for all the booing he had been receiving, as recently as last week.
But then I thought I was thinking too much into it. The one thing I know about Adam Goodes is how proud he is of his heritage. This was the Indigenous Round. This was his way of embracing and celebrating it.
The morning after Goodes explained his motives. It was an Indigenous war cry he had learnt from the Under-16 Boomerangs, Indigenous All Stars team.
“I want people to embrace it for what it was, and everybody else take a chill pill, understand what I was doing and if there were Carlton supporters offended by it, I’m sorry, but it’s a war cry, it’s a battle,” he said.
“There was nothing untoward to the Carlton supporters. It was a war cry so it would have been silly to do it to my own supporters. There’s nothing offensive, there shouldn’t be a Carlton supporter who feels offended by what I’m doing.
“Understand what I’m doing it was a battle cry at you guys saying this is who I am and what I represent. I’m very proud about my culture and one I’ve only learnt a lot about it in the last 10 years and I want to represent, it’s Indigenous Round.”
End of story.
I know full well that every fan pays their money to get in and is therefore entitled to say what he or she wants. They can boo, they can jeer, they can cheer, as long as it’s not offensive to anyone else.
And that’s part of the outcry, that Goodes was offensive in his aggression with the war cry, and that the football field was not the place to be doing ‘that sort of stuff’.
Well, it’s a war cry, it is naturally going to come across as aggressive. And where should Goodes be doing it then? It was the perfect place, at the perfect time, during the AFL’s Indigenous Round.
We are getting way too precious about so many things in this day and age, and sadly now, when we do, we have an avenue through social media to say whatever we want about it. I’m all for freedom of speech, but some of the comments I read about Goodes were not just foolish, ridiculous and ill informed, but just plain racist.
He’s a proud Australian, and is proudly Indigenous. Clearly that’s such an awful thing it needs to be mocked and criticised. If you want the alternative, get online and watch video games, because thankfully Australian sport is not made up of robots.
Nice goal, Adam. Nice game, Adam. The ‘dance’… well, you won’t see me using those steps at the nightclub, but nor should you. I do understand what it means to you, just as I understand what your heritage means to you. It must be nice to have such pride. So, from that point of view, I also say nice war cry, Adam.
As for some people, well they need a prescription for Chill Pills.