I was a little taken aback upon my first viewing of The Final Quarter, but not for the reasons most were.
Having perused the reactions of many, I concluded the film must have revealed some secret footage exposing the inner workings of Australia’s racist core.
So many had said it shone a light on what really happened: that they hadn’t realised it was so bad, and that they now realised how wrong it all was.
I was taken aback because this had all happened in front of our very eyes.
Sam Newman sarcastically asked for white heterosexual round, Tony Jones smugly told us not one person out of the tens of thousands were booing for racist reasons, Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones said exactly what they would say. None of this was new.
Nonetheless, it appears the documentary has at least shone a light on the what happened in a more focused way.
It forces those who still have a problem with Adam Goodes to justify why.
And I would like to ask those people to do so.
There have been a lot of justifications for the booing and subsequent hatred directed at Goodes for the last four years. But those justifications have been flimsy.
In the early part of this decade, Newman regularly took aim at the AFL for being too political. He said people don’t want to be lectured, they wanted to enjoy footy.
When he went on such rants on The Footy Show – a show that occasionally talked about footy – the majority of the audience cheered.
Given Newman only has a media voice due to his relationship to footy but has no issue commenting on political issues – just check his Twitter feed – perhaps his supporters can explain why they cheer when he tells the AFL to stay out of politics, but are silent when their hero wades into political matters?
Not all Indigenous players were booed
This is most common argument, even though those who make it never seem to have to go beyond this justification, no matter how many times people point out that Goodes got booed after he moved outside his box and stood up for his heritage.
Perhaps I’ll make another point using the naysayer logic: was it not an act of racism when Eddie Betts had a banana thrown at him? Because according to this flawed logic and using the justification that not all Indigenous players have had bananas thrown at them, the answer would have to be no.
This argument has never made a large amount of sense. Literally less than 24 hours after the infamous incident with a 13-year-old Collingwood fan, Goodes said “it’s not her fault” and “I don’t blame her at all”.
Yet people still hate him based on his supposed bullying.
Feigning for frees
Well, this is an easy one. Why is Goodes doing this so much worse than thousands of other players in history?
I remember Goodes had an annoying ability to run back quickly and pretend an opponent hadn’t returned the ball properly, fooling umpires into paying a 50-metre penalty. I didn’t like it, I’ll admit.
We see plenty of players do their best to manipulate umpires into awarding them free kicks. People are simply trying to find an angle to justify their hatred of Goodes.
Timing of the boos
The most definitive evidence that Goodes was subjected to racism is very simple: the booing started after he stood up for himself, when he decided he wouldn’t accept being called an ape.
Then it became extreme straight after he did a war dance specifically to celebrate his heritage.
Tell me his Aboriginality had no impact the hatred. Then justify why.
Rewriting the history of the saga simply cannot suffice anymore.