There is only one man I know – and one man alone – that can fix the currently out of control issue involving Adam Goodes.
His name is Adam Goodes.
At the moment the situation has the potential to deteriorate into a massive divide amongst many, many people with untold and possibly irretrievable damage. Needless to say the flow-on effect is with the most impressionable people in our lives – our children.
I will not stand by and witness the ridiculous pandemonium, the irresponsible accusations, the overreacting and the personal agenda’s from pedestals. Nor will I will be intimidated by do-gooders on soap boxes clutching rosary beads, media representatives taking the moral high ground or people in positions of responsibility who feel the need to act now out of some sort of pathetic pressure from those around them.
For 150 years fans have preyed on players hoping to get a rise out of them. Most – and I mean nearly all of them – have not been seduced into responding, acknowledging or letting it outwardly affect them. If fans sense a hint of reaction they intensify their actions baying for blood.
Two things have struck me in relation to the Adam Goodes saga.
Firstly he is probably the first player I can remember that has taken obvious offence to the booing and reacted.
And secondly he has publicly denounced the people doing it and returned fire.
Both of these actions are like a red rag to a bull for regular footy fans.
I have no doubt there is now a small racist element taking advantage of the situation Adam finds himself in. For those people, I feel terribly sorry for you and offer you my deepest sympathy and disappointment that you think the way you think in this day and age.
For most of the fans booing I consider it to be as simply a reaction to the aforementioned circumstances coupled with the highlighted media frenzy attached to the situation.
Has Adam done anything wrong? Not as far as I am concerned. The only criticism I have of Adam is the manner in which he has dealt with the situation. It comes across to me that he is not taking enough responsibility or giving much consideration to his actions.
Let me say that I do not subscribe to the following negative accusations that are circling around the traps;
- the way he plays & acts
- having the 13 year old girl evicted from the stadium
- being made Australian of the Year
- Australian of the Year acceptance speech
None of these influence or affect my personal judgement of Adam Goodes, like all Australians he is entitled to his opinion and views. Whilst I did not agree with his speech in it’s entirety, I truly respected his courage and conviction in using the platform to heighten the awareness and focus on the debilitating indigenous situation in Australia.
What I am most interested in right now, is how he responds to the situation and what he makes of it. At the moment he is either deliberately or inadvertently dividing the nation and his advisers are unfortunately providing him with bad advice. This should not be about accusing every fan who boo’s Adam as a racist. We know that’s a ridiculous accusation, however that is where this is heading.
Adam Goodes is obviously a decent person, an incredibly gifted athlete and an outstanding Australian Rules footballer. He has the opportunity to pour water on this drastic, out of control bushfire and reduce it to a great lesson, an incredible gesture of compassion, understanding and empathy.
He will not only become the modern day hero and leader of the very proud indigenous people he represents so passionately but also the entire population of this country, and abroad. People greatly respect humility and taking responsibility – thats leadership.
Adam may not believe he has transgressed by his standards or morals but to understand the thinking of the people booing him and telling them he respects their view would be an incredibly magnanimous gesture that would catapult him to legendary status. He should hold a press conference and he should say something like the following:
“I am terribly disappointed in the situation I find myself in. I want to take full responsibility for my actions that I understand have upset or even angered people within the community. Rest assured it was not intentional. I firmly and honestly believe that the fans booing me are not racist even though we must accept that racism is still a major issue in our country. I can appreciate some of the things I have done would upset and divide people within the footy community. I also recognise that by having a somewhat political stance on issues that are close to my heart and communicating those thoughts openly that I may disenfranchise some people who may not completely understand the situation I am talking about. I have learned a lot through this difficult time and I know it has made me a better, more compassionate and understanding Australian. I would dearly love to have a respected legacy from all Australians when I retire. Your contribution to me as a person and the game cannot be underestimated. I hope we can all come together for the greater good of this great game. Thank you.”
This has the potential to be a train crash for lots of people over a very long time.
Adam has the power to turn it around into a positive and provide the leadership we expect from an Australian of the Year – I know he has the courage.