They are two very public stances against racism, twenty years apart.
When Nicky Winmar lifted his jumper in the face of a tirade of racism at Victoria Park in 1993 he didn’t know how influential a moment it would be. In fact, the photographer Wayne Ludbey had to fight tooth and nail to get the photo to print.
When Adam Goodes, stopped, turned and pointed towards a fan who racially abused him there was little confusion.
Thanks largely to the work that has gone into eliminating racism from sport and society over the last twenty years and the power of social media, the response to reject racism was swift.
On social media platform Twitter, AFL players led the way in voicing their concerns for a colleague and slamming racial taunts.
Something clearly said to Adam Goodes, sitting on the couch speechless and really flat! #bloodydisappointing
— Jack Riewoldt (@JackRiewoldt08) May 24, 2013
Racial Vilification has no place in sport and goodesy dealt with it like a champ. Lets NOT let it shadow how well he performed tonight tho
— Nic Naitanui (@RealNaitanui) May 24, 2013
Much respect for Adam Goodes on all fronts tonight.
— Joel Selwood (@joelselwood14) May 24, 2013
Adam Goodes is all class #respect
— Hamish mcintosh (@HMcintosh01) May 25, 2013
— James Kelly (@JamesPopsKelly) May 25, 2013
— jamesmagner (@jamesmag23) May 24, 2013
— Nathan Jones (@nathan2jones) May 24, 2013
Respect for Adam Goodes tonight, a clear BOG but disappointing to see something happen at the ground right in front of me #aflpiesswans
— Tom Ledger (@tledge37) May 24, 2013
AFL Players Association CEO Matt Finnis said the esteem with which Goodes is held within the playing group no doubt contributed to the strength of the response.
“When you see a player who is so decorated and so accomplished a player in Adam Goodes and you see him in a vulnerable moment that’s a pretty stark reality for players,” Finnis said.
“The fact that we have players voicing their disapproval towards an incident like this and we have players reporting fans from their club who make racist remarks demonstrate the progress the game has made in recent times.
“But as Adam said, if racism has a face and it’s a 13-year-old girl we still have work to do.”
AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou agreed.
“I was also immensely proud of the show of support from not only Goodes’ playing peers across the AFL competition, but also people throughout the community.”