Racism and Adam Goades

Goad : To provoke or annoy (someone) so as to stimulate an action or reaction

AFL sporting hero, two time Brownlow medalist and 2014 Australian of the Year, Adam Goodes has been widely condemned by football spectators for a couple of on field incidents most notably, a provocative war dance in front of the opposition cheer squad. Moreover, he has ignited again the destructive, regressive racism issue that we somehow just can’t get past.

Adam is a true champion however, his actions have unintentionally been divisive by highlighting the differences between us instead of the similarities we all share. Being human.

And on that score, Adam should stop Goading the public into a response. Play the game and leave the point scoring to the Umpires.

So where to from here for public relations at team Adam Goodes?

My advice to Adam is simple. Apologise. I know what some of you may be thinking. And you’re right, he shouldn’t have to but this isn’t an apology about skin colour. It’s an apology for an action as a man before other men and women. 

Get a press conference organised now and apologise for the war dance. Try to make it a light hearted affair pointing out the irony of the apology made by Kevin Rudd in 2007. Obviously, the magnitude and significance cannot be compared but if Adam wants to win back public support this is what he needs to do.

State your case, be proud of your heritage and speak to the reasons why you did it but acknowledge it was provocative and that in hindsight you would have chosen another course of action.

And you will be remembered for the right reasons and the AFL can be left to tackle the next big ticket issue staring them down. Homophobia.

aP

Dreamtime

Background

The whole racism issue never seems to go away, especially in sport. In recent days much has been said about the Indigenous AFL superstar Adam Goodes. To make my point, I bring into the story AFL player Adam Cooney to represent the Anglo Saxons and use his surname as the basis for the vulgar reference, “Coon”, a term once used to describe Indigenous folk.

 

I had a dream. And in that dream a football match was played.
It was Round 19 Sunday August 4th 2013 at Etihad Stadium.
The Western Bulldogs versus the Sydney Swans.

The stage was set as two Brownlow medallists prepared to do battle. But the much anticipated contest had been overshadowed by concerns from some very nervous people in the media. Especially the commentators. They felt the Cooney Goodes match up was too risky to call. Nobody wanted to risk being vilified for innuendo or a perceived racial slur. It could be career ending. But there was no getting around it. Another slip of the tongue could result in a riot.

The 2013 Indigenous round had been a disaster and served only to perpetuate the very thing it was trying to eradicate. The AFL needed something, anything to put a stop to the bigotry still evident in our game.

And in this dream there was a solution. Adam Cooney and Adam Goodes looked at one another. They realised they shared more than a name. They were the same. They were both human.

They shook hands, returned to their respective teams and played a game of football

aP