Saturday, 30 May 2015

Is Adam Goodes the face of reverse racism?

It’s indigenous round in the AFL but Adam Goodes has once again mistaken it to be Adam Goodes round. Rather than collectively partaking in a celebration of the many indigenous players involved in our great game, Goodes, as he’s done on numerous occasions, has ensured the major talking point is himself.

The Australian of the year, who famously pointed out a 13 year old girl and labelled her the face of racism in Australia, has been in the headlines all week for being booed by opposition supporters. Apparently he simply couldn’t understand why. You’d think he’d try and keep a low profile if he didn’t want the crowd booing him. Obviously not.

Last night against the Blues, Goodes kicked a goal and proceeded with one of the most ridiculous goal celebrations I have ever seen. Here is a video of the aggressive, mock spear brandishing, reverse racist attack on members of the Carlton crowd.

The football industry has been first class when it comes to stamping out racism in the game and creating awareness within the broader society. Goodes has played a pivotal role in this effort. Last night though, he used blatant reverse racism with an aggressive symbol of violence aimed at members of the Carlton crowd. 

At half time, all four of the Fox Footy commentators berated Goodes. Dermot Brereton commented that aggressive symbolism aimed at the crowd had no place in the game. Eddie McGuire said he didn’t want to watch it again and stated that it was these kinds of inflammatory acts that led to crowd riots in European soccer.

In a post-match interview, Goodes said the war cry was not an aggressive action aimed at the Carlton crowd cry but a tribute to his people. 

Why didn’t he brandish his mock spear in the middle of the ground, or in the goal square or anywhere except 30 meters away where the opposition supporters were seated?

Yes you can celebrate a goal but for the man who arguably heads the anti-racism campaign in this country, the aggressive race based war cry was unbelievably ironic.

Social media went into the expected meltdown with many claiming he was just showing pride at his heritage during indigenous round. Spare me the PC rubbish. I didn’t see Lance Franklin, Lewis Jetta and Chris Yarran running around brandishing mock spears at opposition supporters. 

By the end of the game, the producer had clearly gotten into the Fox Footy commentators’ ears. Eddie and Dermie had done a staggering backflip. Eddie commented (paraphrase):
“We don’t know whether Goodes was aiming it at the Carlton crowd. Let’s call it a nil all draw and let it go.” 
We don't know whether it was aimed at the Carlton crowd?! No, this photo doesn’t look like that was the case at all!

Note the guy circled. It appears he was smiling with thumb up before booing and giving Goodes the thumb down as seen in the above video.

Andrew Bolt blogged last night:

“If it wasn’t Goodes and it wasn’t the indigenous round, the stunned commentators on Seven would have called it out as the loutish behaviour it was, a symbolic act of violence, couched in inflammatory race-based terms. An act of hatred…
…Imagine a white player capering up to predominantly Aboriginal supporters, shaking a fist and miming the shooting of a gun at them…
…Goodes after the game says he was not reacting to any taunts from Carlton fans. He was merely “proud to be Aboriginal”…
…Which, it seems, apparently involves making mock threats to kill non-Aborigines. “

It was nothing less than an aggressive, act of perceived violence aimed at opposition fans who have been booing him for weeks. He used his race via a war cry in an attempt to square the ledger. Quite simply it was reverse racism. 

Just imagine a white player doing the same to indigenous supporters. I hope the book is thrown at Goodes as hard as it was thrown at the 13 year old "face of racism in Australia".

Is this what reconciliation is all about?

All the best,
Dom Meese

*Photo courtesy of


  1. "Reverse racism"? you sound like Chris Rock, who coined that term in the movie 'The Animal'. Except he's funny.

    I suppose you consider the Haka just as ridiculous and would be willing to write a whole article about it?

  2. Luckily I don't pretend to be a comedian. Glad Chris Rock can make you laugh!

    There's a large difference between the Haka and what Goodes did. He didn't perform a war cry to the opposition but to the crowd. The difference with the Maori Haka is that it is directed at the opposition players who know what it is and that it is coming. It is also a tradition. Goodes' actions were unknown and aggressive.

    Goodes is the first to draw the racism card at any opportunity he gets. If he's going to point out 13 year old girls for saying "ape" then surely he can't have a go at others using an aggressive race based action.

  3. The crowd is part of the opposition.

    The Haka is a tradition? Well, I'm sure that tradition started at some point when it was not yet a tradition. Maybe an aboriginal war cry could be taken up as a tradition by aboriginal players when they score a goal. Yes they'll look ridiculous and primitive but it's their choice and their problem, let's stop making a big fuss about it.

    Just so you know, I'm not a supporter of 'aboriginal pride' or defender of every aboriginal action that stands out. On the contrary, I find it funny how they advocate for a "close the gap" campaign when they widen the gap constantly by different things, e.g. ticking on every darn govt. form whether hour ATSI or (anything-else-australian), when it's always stressed that there's a flag for us and a flag just for them, when assistance - whether it's finance/housing/health/you-name-it is different to any other non-ATSI Australian, etc.: doesn't all this sound a lot like "us and them"??!! But with this Adam Goodes issue, I think talking more about it or dedicating one of your nice blog posts to it (I mean that, that's why I read them) is giving him much undeserved importance and attention, when it should just be not listened to.

    PS - yes, Chris Rock rocks! except for when he says vulgar, obscene jokes, oh so prevalent in American humor! But in general he's alright. Check this out:

    1. Thanks Paco. Sorry for the delayed response.

      I don't agree the crowd are part of the opposition. They are spectators. If the crowd was opposition during the days of gladiators, could the combatants have thrown swords and knives at them in an attempt to kill them like they were the actual opposition in the ring?

      You make a good point about the beginning of the Haka tradition. I wouldn't have a problem with an aboriginal war dance if it was an organised, pre-known act. As it was, Adam Goodes used an out-of-know where, race based, threatening war cry to incite the crowd, days after whinging about them booing him!

      Thanks for the nice words about my blog. I'll check out the Chris Rock link now.