People say that Adam Goodes being booed isn’t about race, but I think in a large way it is. I’m not saying that the majority of people booing him are racist, but lets look at the facts. The booing has mostly started after the 13 year old girl last year called him an ape and he went on his crusade against racism. To me, the main reason he is being booed is because people hate how he singled out the young girl and has been divisive about race relations in this country ever since. People hate his “Us vs Them” mentality and think he was ill-deserving of becoming Australian of the Year.
Australians, as a whole, seem to hate political correctness and especially hate being called racist. When Adam Goodes started to speak up and complain, it annoyed a lot of people. They don’t like that he played the victim and while Australians as a whole have utmost respect and love for indigenous people, many are still apathetic to the disadvantage and struggles of being Aboriginal.
Adam Goodes is outspoken and I understand the way he plays is another reason many people boo him, however I still think this whole situation highlights that many Australians are uncomfortable talking about racial issues and prefer our Aboriginal athletes to perform on the field and leave politics out of it.
Adam Goodes has strong views on race and I think he is entitled to it without being booed. The way he plays is not reason enough for such harsh booing and in fact we should appreciate what a great player he is on the field. Yes, other players get the same treatment and we don’t ask for them to stop being booed, but these are players booed exclusively for their on field behaviour or for extremely poor actions off-field. I don’t think Adam Goodes deserves booing based on either of those criteria.
Many people’s hate for Goodes has only increased with all the media attention this has been getting and again, he is seen to be someone who is egocentric and precious for complaining about such treatment when other players don’t. But the attention has been generated largely from the media itself and Goodes has every right to be upset, he is a human being after all.
That is the most important thing to note. The fact that Goodes and his family have been so hurt by the situation should be reason enough to stop the booing. Where has our sense of empathy gone? Regardless, the booing seems symptomatic of a society that is uncomfortable with having an honest discussion on race relations, especially when sport is involved.
What’s everyone else’s thoughts?