The Apotheosis of Adam ‘Stager’ Goodes

The cult of Indigenous footballer Adam Goodes is cranking up. Last week Vincent Namatjira’s crude portrait of Goodes (above) as social-justice saint won the Archibald Prize which, in this instance, might have been retitled the Black Lives Matter Sycophancy Prize. Namatjira was inspired to paint Goodes after watching last year’s documentary on Goodes by Ian Darling: The Final Quarter. It re-ran on NITV a week ago and will be rescreened again there shortly.

Melbourne’s Herald Sun has just given Goodes a two-page color spread modelling nice clothes. The writer’s beatitude began, in all seriousness,

The legend of Adam Goodes permeates deep and wide within the Australian psyche … And so he looms like a Greco-Roman god: a figure of worship…

Complainer-in-chief Stan Grant’s The Australian Dream, last year’s rival weepy tribute to Goodes, is streaming on Apple TV, Microsoft and YouTube. On August 28, UK-based Monocle magazine featured Goodes as its “Big Interview” on global radio. He was on BBC Sport in June. In the same month his face was painted on the side of a Sydney house.

This essay is in no way an attack on Swans’ ex-star Goodes, who had indeed suffered from overt and covert racist incidents since school – albeit none for eight years of his AFL stardom. He’s led a model life, supports Aboriginal charities and sadly, retired prematurely from football at end-2015 because booing in 2014-15 destroyed his peace of mind and love of the game. But the booing does not prove footie fans were racist, let alone Australians generally. And Goodes as urger of “treaties” and Constitution changes is no more entitled to a free pass than any other political lobbyist.

It’s in Australian schools where the myth-making about Goodes is at its zenith. Cool Australia, the third-party supplier of pre-cooked materials for teachers, is providing no fewer than 52 lessons extolling Goodes, based largely on The Final Quarter movie. As Cool Australia recommends to teachers: “Make sure you can darken the room. Play it LOUD.”[1]

Director Ian Darling paints Australians as racist by the usual cinematic tricks of material put in or left out, snazzy or moody editing, and inspirational background music. Meanwhile the ABC has run amok with lessons for schools carrying the same messages about our racism and need for a racially tweaked Constitution. Between Cool Australia and the ABC, kids from the ages of 5 to 17 could be blasted for close to half a school week in total with films about Goodes, plus the pre- and post-conditioning sessions and the spin-off lessons.[2]

Teachers themselves are expected to spend even greater slabs of time slavering over the film. They will also teach kids to make their own didactic (i.e. propaganda) movies about racism, climate, asylum seekers and the usual grab-bag of leftist tropes.[3]

The film’s subsidiary message is nakedly political: that the Constitution be changed to benefit Aborigines (at least three-quarters of whom are city or regional-dwellers). This new racially-based Constitution will somehow “unify” Australia. Director Darling and Goodes want a “First Nations Voice to Parliament”, in line with the “Uluru Statement from the Heart” involving treaties and constitutional change “to empower our people”.[4] Cool’s 52 separate lessons implant these ideas. Cool uses definitions provided by Aboriginal lobby Reconciliation Australia to show kids that any opposition to treaties and “black armband” history is racist.[5]

Over at the ABC, its unaccountable ‘Education Unit’ is run by ex-history teacher Annabel Astbury with some seven or eight staffers and a $1.2m budget base. It “works closely” with the Victorian and NSW Education Departments (whatever that means) on mapping its projects (whatever that means) to the national curriculum. It’s currently foisting Bruce Pascoe’s Dark Emu farrago on classrooms. Peter O’Brien, author of the forensic take-down Bitter Harvest, describes Dark Emu’s tale of pre-colonial town-dwelling Aboriginal farmers as “egregiously fraudulent.”  As a sample of the awe in which Ms Astbury holds Dark Emu‘s fauxboriginal fraudster, here she is singing the praises of his dishonest book (emphasis added):

We are so fortunate to have had the opportunity to interview Bruce Pascoe on Country, helping us understand the physical and written evidence of a people who, for thousands of years, had an organised, innovative and considered use of land that supported bountiful cultural economies. This is not the history I learned in the 1980s or, I suspect, that some have learned in the 1990s. This collection is not just a resource for school students, it is a resource for all Australians.

ABC Education’s take on the Goodes saga is even more pernicious in destroying kids’ pride in the Australian settlement. It substitutes agitprop for historical inquiry and balance while wittering about “teaching truths [and also Pascoe material]  in the classroom”.[6]

The ABC doesn’t spare pre-schoolers and bubs from its blitz. Its lessons focus on Stan Grant’s Australian Dream. It has five core lessons and teachers’ guides for each year from pre-school to Year 6. In high school the lesson portfolio expands to a dozen, and one of the items has 11 sub-units.

One lesson (pre-school upwards) is titled “Teach Aboriginal history and truths in the classroom” and opens,

From 1850 until the 1960s, under Australia’s various state protection laws, Aboriginal people were driven off their lands and gathered into specific missions, reserves and stations… Between 1910 and 1970 Indigenous children – particularly children with lighter skin colour – were taken from their families in order to remove them from their culture and people. Babies were taken from hospitals, from mothers on the missions, and from churches and schools without their families’ permission.[7]

The distortions here are horrific, such as omitting the dominant child-protection element of removal policy.[8] Only one child, Bruce Trevorrow, has ever been found judicially to have been ‘stolen’. The stealing was contrary to SA Government policy and he was awarded $775,000. The ABC also provides kids with a six-minute video that is even more inflammatory than the text.

Who writes this stuff? Here’s the ABC Education attribution (my emphasis):

The Australian Dream education resources were written by Aboriginal education specialists Shelley Ware and Thara Brown for Culture Is Life – an Aboriginal organisation that deepens connections and belonging by backing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander solutions

There is not even a pretence of objectivity!

Another of the ABC lessons for primary classes (from pre-school), is titled Aboriginal customs like the war cry need to be embraced as part of Australian culture. This was about Goodes’ 2015 spear-throwing dance at Carlton fans. It was an Aboriginal “custom” dating all the way back to 2009.

As is now standard in school practice, ABC Education’s final goal is to turn kids into activists:

As educators, you recognise the impact young people can have in creating change in the world. All they need is a platform or an opportunity to be heard[9] Many Australians stood with Adam Goodes, letting him know they valued his leadership and efforts to stop racism. ..

Invite students to share their voice and visions for Australia. If possible, what would you say to all Australians?…Students can do further research about how past and present government policies have affected and continue to affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people today… If students feel safe to do so, they can share the visions of their Australian dream with their class, friends, family or community. This takes courage and vulnerability, but it emphasises that their voice is important, regardless of their age, background and experiences.

Yeah, right, to improve Australian society we need 9-year-olds’ worldly wisdom from classrooms infected by the ABC’s social justice warriors.

It’s the same with Cool Australia. Dozens of its provided lessons on Goodes aim at turning kids into pro-Aboriginal activists and campaigners, often using their own school for target practice:

Students will conduct a class-based audit to assess how well their school is combating racism, bullying, discrimination and harassment. After envisioning a world free from racism, bullying, discrimination and harassment, students consider possible improvements to the school’s policies and craft a letter to the school principal, outlining their proposal.

The premise of Cool Australia’s 52 lessons is that the booing of Adam Goodes during his 2014-15 seasons with Sydney Swans was racist. Cool Australia and The Final Quarter suppress or undermine the contrary claim: that Goodes earned the booing by provocative behaviour, or in the blunt words of media pundit Sam Newman at the time, “because you’re acting like a jerk”.

The critiques by Swans haters is that Goodes “staged” or play-acted for free kicks. He outed and humiliated a 13-year-old girl who called him an “ape” while being innocently unaware of the racial context. Then he mimed throwing a spear at Carlton supporters, who responded in their own tribal way. And Goodes used his “Australian of the Year” podium through 2014 to whinge about whites’ historical and current oppression/maltreatment of Aborigines. (To load the dice, Cool Australia often omits the crucial incident with the teen girl).[10]

The Cool Australia and ABC lessons besmirch Australian history of settlement by omitting all favorable and compassionate colonial dealings with Aboriginals.[11] Instead the narrative fosters endless grievance and relentless claims for special benefits. Worst is their studied brainwashing of schoolkids, under the aegis of the Labor-designed “cross-curricula priority” of “Aboriginality”. This priority is to be shoe-horned into all lessons – even maths: one boomerang plus two boomerangs equals three boomerangs.[12]

Cool Australia’s broadest agenda is to undermine capitalism via net-zero CO2 emissions, and use multi-culturalism to denigrate our Western liberal heritage – evinced by Cool Australia’s promotion to kids of Canadian anarchist/nutter Naomi Klein, and encouragement of asylum-seekers. Cool Australia’s materials flood into 8400 primary and secondary schools or 90 per cent of the Australian total. Nearly half teachers use the lessons. They downloaded 2.1 million lessons last year.[13] See here for the details.

There is no real-world evidence that Australians are a racist lot. Among us are a tiny number of nasty and/or stupid racists, but they are no more significant than the odd criminal or Marxist academic. Reconciliation Australia’s own survey barometer shows the Aboriginal industry’s reputation is declining, even among its own constituents. Asked in 2018 if Aborigines are responsible for their own disadvantage, 33 per cent of Aboriginals agreed, up from 24 per cent in 2016. Only 41 per cent disagreed, down from 51 per cent in 2016. Among non-Aboriginals, the proportion is 35 per cent agree and 32-33 per cent disagree. The rest don’t know. In other words, Aboriginals are increasingly agreeing the buck stops with them, not with governments or “historical colonial oppressors”.

In terms of grievance-mongering, the proportion of Aboriginals agreeing that “wrongs of the past must be rectified before all Australians can move on” has dropped in two years from 44 per cent to 40 per cent. Among non-Aboriginals, only 28 per cent agree. The bad side of the report card is that 33 per cent of Aboriginals in 2018 reported experiencing at least one form of verbal racial abuse in the prior six months , down from 37 per cent in 2016.

Reconciliation Australia’s surveys might well involve some contestables. A less vested group is the World Values Survey, benchmarking among countries. Its 2018 run found only 3.9 per cent of Australians don’t want people of a different race living next door (for whatever reasons), compared with 2.7 per cent of New Zealanders – who live with a large and respected Maori minority. Eighty percent of Australians want their children when at home to learn tolerance and respect for other people (NZ 83 per cent). About 10 per cent of Australians don’t want people speaking a different language to live next door – for whatever reasons.

The findings generally give the lie to Cool Australia’s classroom shtick. It has no cause nor rationale for nudging kids to lead us into racial virtue.

When the local Daily Mail polled readers whether the booing of Goodes was racist, more than 60 per cent said it wasn’t. Sam Newman wrote, “Criticising someone from another race doesn’t make you a racist. The groveling doco by Sharkshit Productions ‘The Final Quarter’, should be ‘The Last Straw’.”[14]

Ex-Labor iconoclast Mark Latham tweeted,

It’s all blah, blah, blah, in the absence of any evidence whatsoever that the booing of Goodes was about his race. Just because the elites, from the comfort of clink-clink corporate boxes, think footy fans in the outer are racist deplorables does not make it true. Fast Forward to 2045 at the ABC: ‘Today we are launching our 39th film on the Booing of Adam Goodes, who retired 30 years ago, sure, but this time we have really nailed it, showing the racism our 38 earlier films didn’t quite prove’. Always Biased Crap.” 

It is significant that Goodes says that until the girl called him an ape, “I had not been racially abused for eight years and it just rocked me.”[15]

Pretending to give a rounded account, Cool Australia typically sets up columnist Andrew Bolt and Sydney radio pundit Alan Jones for kids to boo and hiss, rather than, say, ex-PM Howard or chair of the Institute of Public Affairs and ex-ABC director Janet Albrechtsen. In a lesson headed by Cool Australia as “Media Watch debunking Andrew Bolt”, kids are directed to a clip of The Final Quarter showing Bolt criticising Goodes for singling out the 13-year-old Collingwood barracker. ABC’s Paul Barry asks, “But is that really true?” Barry does agree Goodes singled the girl out [Goodes: “I just turned around and I said to the security guard, “I want her out of here. When I looked at the person I could see it was a kid.”][16] Barry then runs clips of Goodes excusing her as innocently racist. But Goodes continued to demand an apology from her. “Yeah OK sorry for that,” she tells him by phone on TV. She had turned 13 only five days earlier – it was quite a transition from childhood. Barry and the Human Rights Commission virtue-signallers ignore her genuine human rights and privacy after she was shown on TV, named (“J—“), and shamed to the world. In Goodes’ words, “Racism had a face last night, it was a 13-year-old girl.” Even 13-year-old murderers are not publicly identified: diminished culpability and all that.

According to her mother, J— “doesn’t get out that much…She’s only a 13-year-old little girl. This has been taken way out of proportion.” The mother was angry that security men handed J— to police, who grilled her for two hours without parent or guardian present. This was infamous, even by current Victoria Police standards, as shooting fancy-dress revellers in a nightclub, encouraging false testimony against a cardinal or failing to proecute Premier Daniel Andrews’ red-shirted Labor rorters. J— herself said, “It was kind of a joke and then he heard it.” Her schoolmates and the town’s people could identify her. As a young adult she’s now being exposed again through The Final Quarter and Grant’s Australian Dream. Final Quarter at least blurs J—‘s face. Stan Grant’s film does not, in fact it lingers on her face in four takes (from 40.00mins). However, Grant’s film is more honest than Darling’s Final Quarter because it gives the mother and daughter a hearing, and Andrew Bolt is allowed to make his points about it.

In Final Quarter, Bolt gets more swipes in another clip pushing constitutional change. Sarah Harris, presenter of Studio 10 on Channel 10, shows Goodes complaining that the Constitution doesn’t refer to pre-1788 Aborigines and urging kids to support the Recognise treaty lobby. Goodes says, “We have a great opportunity as a nation right now to do something that is right, and help change the next 200 years of our history.”

Sarah Harris continues, “Bolt says the campaign could divide us all and make the Constitution racist” before dropping her role as presenter to snicker at Bolt’s claims. Final Quarter adds sinister music to headline grabs from Bolt’s columns, like “Our constitution is not racist and Goodes and his supporters will only make it so”.

 The clip finishes with Goodes and schoolkids – some as young as five or six – raising their fists to disavow racism, thus emphasising the demarcation between Bolt and the ‘good guys’.

Collingwood Football Club president Eddie Maguire after the match rushed to console and support Goodes in the club room and deplore the girl’s taunt. But a week later on air he jokily suggested Goodes should market the King Kong musical.[17] The ABC and The Age, which had both reeled at the 13-year-old’s alleged “racism”, both described Maguire’s joke merely as a “gaffe”. Maguire grovelled, was despatched to counsellors, and there was no suggestion he forfeit his prestigious jobs. “People don’t resign because they make a slip of the tongue. It’s as simple as that,” he explained. Thus a 50-year-old media veteran’s extended joke about King Kong on Triple M Breakfast was a forgivable gaffe, but a barely 13-year-old’s unknowing shout of “ape” during the footie match was an unmitigated ‘racist slur’.

Another use of film’s deceptions involves Reconciliation Australia preaching that average Australians are ignorant mugs about Aborigines. The lobby’s short film “Don’t keep history a mystery” is a rapid fire of put-downs of “average” whites mixed with dubious or false claims about Aboriginals. It begins with a beer-gutted ocker at the footie boasting that our white civilisation invented utes “and has the tastiest coat of arms in the world” – as if we snack daily on emus and roos. (Leftist wit on display). He doesn’t mention democracy, social welfare or equality under law. He gets a pile-on from virtuous Aborigines and woke whites. A sassy and attractive Aboriginal woman corrects him, “There is also a bit you don’t know. We have the oldest surviving culture on earth”. In reality traditional culture died out 100-200 years ago when the old men ceased passing down creation stories to youths who had refused the painful initiations.

A smug woke white says Aboriginal culture is “even older than the Greeks”, implying it surpassed Greek learning. Others chime in about Aboriginal “inventions”. They include “grass growing machines” (audio not clear) and “the first-ever bakers”. An Aborigine eats a pie to give us the idea. These wild claims about grass-cropping and bakers come from the fake history of bogus blackfella Bruce Pascoe. An Aboriginal footballer arrives to claim they were “the first ever Aussie footballers”, a nonsense as historian Geoff Blainey attests.[18]

Another white cranks up the grievance, “It is a culture that has survived centuries of pretty average treatment”. (No mention of positive aspects). Their message is that the average ocker is an imbecile. This one minute inflammatory exercise originally attracted a host of angry comments on YouTube, suggesting Reconciliation Australia is hardly living up to its name.

Critics say Goodes’ complaints about victimhood looked odd coming from a highly paid player. His late-seasons paypackets have attracted little media curiosity. The only estimates I’ve seen are from anonymous online commenters mentioning $900,000 yearly. Goodes was a match-winner for the Sydney Swans, including one of the two clinching goals in its 2012 Premiership win. He would have to have been in the top salary tier. Pay for elite players first topped $500,000 in 2000, and the $900,000 mark was hit in 2006. There would be a fair chance Goodes from 2000-11 did $500,000 or better.

Goodes also had a fair chance of being in the millionaire-average club from 2012 to his final year 2015, as suggested by the following data. The number of players earning $1m-plus is documented by the AFL as 2012: 8; 2013: 5; 2014: 2; 2015: 4; 2016: 6. Two of the 2015 millionaires were widely identified as Gold Coast captain Gary Ablett and West Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui. The other two were mystery men. Goodes’ colleague at the Swans, Buddy Franklin, was said to have earned only $700,000 in 2015 but his contract had positive back-ending.

Apart from Goodes’ salary, his endorsements have included Campbell’s Chunk Soup (2006), AFL ads (2007 and 2009), and Powerade (2014). In 2015 he became and remains a David Jones stores “Brand Ambassador”, and from 2013 he’s also been a Qantas “Ambassador”, certainly until 2018. As mentioned, he’s also been a generous benefactor of Aboriginal child causes.

Whatever the criticisms of Adam Goodes, he’s entitled to his views and others are entitled to disagree with him. What is not acceptable is leftist groups like Cool Australia and the ABC using him to batter kids with their divisive agendas. As an inquiry report was once headlined, “Little Children are Sacred” and that includes 13-year-old white country kids at the footie.

Tony Thomas’s new book, Come To Think Of It – essays to tickle the brain, is available here as a book ($34.95) or an e-book ($14.95) 


[1] Teachers log in to access the material

[2]Specialist lessons will achieve the best results when THE FINAL QUARTER documentary is introduced as a topic across the curriculum. This requires planning among multiple teachers and across specialist streams.”

[3]Hand out one sticky note to each student and invite them to write an issue that they feel strongly about. E.g. Climate Change, Gambling, Refugees, Human Rights, Community Health, Homelessness, Illness, Crime.” Apart from the brainwashing, I think movie-making is technically too complex for 99% of kids.

[4] “With substantive constitutional change and structural reform, we believe this ancient sovereignty can shine through as a fuller expression of Australia’s nationhood…We seek constitutional reforms to empower our people and take a rightful place in our own country.”

[5] “Reconciliation is an ongoing journey that reminds us that while generations of Australians have fought hard for meaningful change, future gains are likely to take just as much, if not more, effort… “Reconciliation” includes “the unique rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are recognised and upheld. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are self-determining. Our rights as First Australians are not just respected but championed in all the places that matter. Australia’s colonial history is characterised by devastating land dispossession, violence, and racism. There is widespread acceptance of our nation’s history. Australia makes amends for past policies and practices.”

[6] The ABC offers classes 20 films involving Pascoe at last count, starting with 6-year-olds.

[7] Pascoe Braun on March 3 posted on this ABC page, “I find parts of this offensive, I’m a SG [Stolen Generation] Survivor and I never lost my culture and connections, don’t make sweeping generalisations.”

[8] Keith Windschuttle’s Fabrication of Aboriginal History – the Stolen Generations 1881-2008, Macleay Press Sydney 2009, 630 pages, provides the facts.

[9] Emphasis in original

[10] “During the last three years of his career, Goodes was named Australian of the Year, accused of staging for free kicks, and performed an on-field war dance celebration. When the football crowds turned on him, the Brownlow medallist left his beloved game.” [Note there is no reference here to the 13yo]

[11] In SA, for example, the archival primary material can be inspected at and in Crooks, Alistair and Lane, Joe, Voices from the Past. Extracts from the annual reports of the SA Chief Protectors of Aborigines, 1837 Onwards. Hoplon, Adelaide, 2016. Forward by Tony Thomas.

[12] It is not clear how obligatory this is, but to be safe, teachers need to err on the woke side

[13] Cool Australia Impact Report, 2019

[14] Newman is riffing on the film’s maker Shark Island Productions.

[15] The Australian Dream, at 41mins.


[17] Maguire said: “Get Adam Goodes down for it, do you reckon?” before adding: “You can see them doing that can’t you? Goodsey. You know with the ape thing, the whole thing, I’m just saying pumping him up and mucking around, all that sort of stuff.”

[18] The game was codified in 1859 and, according to some accounts, based on rugby at English public schools. Others posit that Tom Wills, genuinely regarded as the father of the code, was inspired more by the “village football” matches

17 thoughts on “The Apotheosis of Adam ‘Stager’ Goodes

  • pgang says:

    In his early days Goodes was an exciting and inspiring footballer to watch. At the end he just became unwatchable and a part of everything that is wrong with the AFL.

  • padraic says:

    Thank you Tony for bringing to light the role of the ABC in brainwashing our kids with leftist nonsense, I was surprised some years ago when my primary school grand daughter came home and began work on the computer. Thinking she was not doing her homework I asked what she was up to. She explained that she was doing homework set by her teacher but had to log in to an ABC education website (using a password). She had to comment on a short essay about mining which contained the usual Green hysteria about mining. I was stunned. Firstly, why was the ABC allowed to produce such material for school use and secondly why was the Education Department allowing it to happen? It was a far cry from the time when people voted in a government who nominated ministers to be in charge of departments who were responsible for the functions assigned to them. I thought the ABC was a “broadcaster” who told adults the news of the day. Whoever allowed them to exceed this remit is dangerous and spineless. The ABC is not a department in the traditional sense of the word. It is the responsibility of the education department to design the school syllabus and for the teachers to teach that syllabus. The department in this respect is answerable to the Minister and the Minister is answerable to the voters. That’s how democracy used to work and ministers were supposed to reflect the values of those who voted them in. This is another example where the system has been “captured” by non-elected people. We are seeing more and more of this – we elect people to Parliament who are appointed Ministers – Ministers bypass their departments (“outsourcing”) to give work to private concerns like international law firms or accounting firms or “independent Commissions” staffed by activist lawyers. The decisions of Parliament itself are now subject to control by various non-elected semi-judicial bodies outside the High Court. The recent Narrabri gas project is a case in point – first of all the relevant NSW department does not make the decision – that is done by the “Independent Planning Commission” and this decision, according to today’s Australian newspaper, can still be subject “to a judicial review”. In the past if a political decision was good it was the Minister who got the kudos, if it was bad the Department copped the blame. These days, as we have seen recently in Victoria under this new paradigm, no-one gets the blame, so it’s left up to law firms of a certain persuasion (and funded by US litigation funder corporations) to make some money out of the situation with class actions. Let’s get back to the original democratic model of Ministers running departments who carry out the government’s programs themselves and put the ABC back into its broadcasting box.

  • Elizabeth Beare says:

    I don’t appreciate any sort of football, wasn’t raised to it, and that shows. My husband sparked my interest a few years back telling me about this great aboriginal footballer who was top of the game, and I said I’d watch a game he was in. Then this ‘great’ guy monstered a thirteen year-old girl for a comment that she would never regard as racist – just bit of football riff, where she may not even have known nor cared that he was aboriginal. VicStasi, showing early their true colours that we see daily now, grilled this young girl for hours without a guardian present and her photograph was put up under the term ‘racist’ in the mass media. Now the same thing is happening to her again with these films, and she lives in a small town where she is easily recognised.

    Goodes, in my opinion, should have immediately smoothed the situation by apologising to the girl, giving her a complimentary seasons ticket, and had his smiling photograph taken with her. That would have been the decent Aussie thing for a wealthy sports star to do. He didn’t do it, and he’s totally lost me over that since then. And I suspect many people felt as I did, and felt it even more when he did the spear attack stuff. He was catcalled because of these incidents, not because of ‘racism’. I was looking forward to getting to see a good sportsman, like many other aboriginal sportsmen. I didn’t see one in Goodes.

    I am sorry if he has endured genuine racism when growing up or in sport. The evidence overwhelmingly is that Australians today have no time for it and will shun anyone who is clearly racist, in the sense that the word once carried – that is, of intentionally and with malice attributing facets of a person’s character or behaviour to the colour of their skin or to their cultural or genetic inheritance. In my view, Goodes has been hypersensitive to ‘offence’, another thing entirely.

  • Dave Carter says:

    Yep I have to agree “pgang”, and respectfully Tony, I think you’ve missed the obvious in titling this piece with reference to staging, but saying that Goodes somehow “retired prematurely.
    I don’t follow the Swans closely, but it was plain that Goodes had become what John MacEnroe called “a step slow”- being suddenly but unmistakably outpaced by fresher opponents in one-on-one contests. This turned on the staging- the collapses to the ground, the two arms outheld- the cries to the umpire- that very quickly led to the crown turning on him. Footy is rough, even from the stands, and the ridiculous war dance spear throw, to a knot of Blues supporters who were being crushed by an ascendant Sydney and mulling on their loss of Coach and Brownlow-winning captain, was catastrophically bad grace.
    I believe that his own fallibility was creeping up on his aging body and unsustainable self-belief. A correction was always going to come. But he did not retire early- indeed he did not retire anywhere near early enough. A year or two earlier, he would almost certainly be cast in bronze somewhere now.

  • young bill says:

    I don’t get this Adam Goodes thing at all. I believe he has an Aboriginal mother and an Irish father. Is he ashamed of his white heritage?

  • lbloveday says:

    “Is he ashamed of his white heritage?”.
    As Obama seems to be – always referred to himself as “Black” or “Of Colour” despite having a white mother.

  • deric davidson says:

    Just pointing out the fact that the aboriginal footballer who rebuked a football crowd by lifting his jumper and pointing to his skin was St Kilda player Nicky Winmar NOT Adam Goodes. The artist has plagiarized Winmar’s action and attributed it in the painting to Goodes! False attribution! and Goodes needs to acknowledge this if he has any sense of decency, specifically involving another aboriginal player. But then again Winmar is into BLM big time so I don’t really care.

  • Greg Jeffs says:

    Something that is not mentioned is that Adam Goodes was involved in a campaign entitled “Racism. It stops with me.” run by the Human Rights Commission. It is not known if he was paid for that involvement. Perhaps his pointing out the girl related to his involvement in, and commitment to, the campaign. Adam Goodes freely declares that he had no connection with being Aboriginal growing up. He says that he learnt about Aboriginal culture via a TAFE course. He is, however, entitled by dint of descent and self-identification to call himself Aboriginal. He would, presumably, be entitled by the same reasoning to call himself European by descent, language, culture etc. It was Adams Goodes, the processes on the day of the game, the AFL and the legions of commentators that followed, that associated the girl’s comment with Aboriginality. She specifically stated that she was unaware of any connection between her comment and Adam Goodes’s chosen identity. Maybe Adam Goodes, the AFL, and all the commentators should be condemned for associating her call with Aboriginality. She didn’t – they did. If Adam Goodes had been identifying as European on that day, and particularly if the girl had known that fact, then surely the same furore would have occurred with her call being associated with those having European descent. Adam Goodes was able to retrospectively identify as being Aboriginal. It follows that he could now declare that he identified with being European on the day in question. All the ensuing commentary and documentaries etc. could then be withdrawn or modified to reflect that changed reality.

  • Tony Thomas says:

    Thanks Deric but Goodes did do the jumper-lifting-and-pointing thing as a staged event for the cameras, so there are two (at least) versions.

  • Dave Carter says:

    Three versions, Tony!
    The original version was Winmar after a tenacious goal, stickin’ it up a small cadre of Collingwood fans on the boundary fence who had called him “gutless”. Rather than the obvious rejoinder of calling them “toothless” in return, he gave what I reckoned was a pretty concise and physically menacing reply- with a flat and focused gaze.
    The racism claim came later- the fans were officially pushed down the memory hole by Collingwood- the guernsey auction (much later) was passed in, which I’d like to think was a reminder that the man on the street has a longer memory than the thought police might wish them to.

  • Peter OBrien says:

    My (unpublished) letter to The Australian:

    This year’s Archibald prize winner resembles nothing so much as a mural painted on an outback dunny by the local primary school kids. All it lacks is a flock of galahs representing the misfits who made this award.

  • Tony Tea says:

    It was reported at the time (1993) that Winmar’s gesture was in response to racist taunts, including quote or quotes from Winmar.

  • Dalone says:

    Excellent story and some just as excellent replies.

    My vote for the best reply goes to Peter Obrien, short, concise and extremely accurate.

  • mags of Queensland says:

    Like many Australians of various skin colours and ethnic backgrounds I am sick to death of these wannabe aboriginal martyrs. We have had aboriginal activists, many of whom have more white than aboriginal blood, shouting at us for decades about how racists WE are. I don’t see them anywhere near the remote areas where aboriginal women and children are living in danger every day. Or is it that only SOME black lives matter.

    Adam Goodes is the prime example of what is wrong with our society today. The victim mentality versus the reality of Goodes’ own behaviour. A man who has financially benefited from the white society he so despises. An utter grub.

  • DUBBY says:

    That painting degrades the Archibald Prize. It’s a total injustice to the many great artists who enter their work. I would have thought the judges would know something about art. That painting is ridiculous.

  • citizen says:

    My son in year 6 has just been subjected to a while term of lessons about racism. Lucky it’s been remote (I’m in Melbourne) and I have been able to curate the lessons and explain them to my son (avoiding him coming away with a negative understanding about our country). Racism is appalling but the idea that the Australia is inherently racist is nonsense. Bad things have happened but this is not the whole story.

    Anyway Adam Goodes came up in the lessons. I didn’t know much about Adam Goodes so decided to do some research. TBH I feel quite sorry for him. He’s damaged and hurt and I’d say that quite a bit of it is due to his traumatic upbringing.

    I found an interview he did with Anne Summers where he spoke about his childhood which was deeply dysfunctional. He tells the story of having to call the police In the middle of the night from a public phone to protect his poor mother from an abusive partner (not his father-who wasn’t great either). He speaks about his zero experience of racism at high school and how the AFL gave him the culture and belonging that he craved. At some point he decided to latch on the the racism victim story and like all identity politics IMHO it’s ended badly for him. I wonder if he had his time again, would he react the same way to the poor 13 year old girl – where has it got him (just a one way ticket to the grievance factory). The poor girl (another victim just like Adam) who was basically imprisoned by the AFL, while her poor grandmother wondered and waited for hours in the stands at a loss to know what to do. I wonder if any Toorak grannies would have stood by as their granddaughter was treated this way (even if they had a disabled mother!!!) ??.

  • citizen says:

    Oh and another thing, if interested in a contemporaneous account of the life with the Victorian aboriginals, I can recommend the story of William Buckley as edited by Tim Flannery. I wonder did Bruce Pascoe ever read it?

Leave a Reply