The AFL Players’ Association today met with the AFL and Sydney Swans in relation to the ongoing vilification of Adam Goodes, and more broadly the issue of racism in football.
All parties expressed their serious concerns about the behaviour directed towards Adam, and as an industry we want this behaviour to stop.
We believe that Adam has been vilified for calling out racism, for expressing his views on Aboriginal issues, and for celebrating and promoting his proud cultural background. This is not something for which Adam should be vilified – it is something for which he should be celebrated.
We have been in contact with many players over the past 24 hours who have expressed their concerns with the nature of the vilification being directed towards Adam and their disappointment at the lack of respect being afforded to him.
This is not only having a significant impact on Adam, but on other players, who see the vilification of Adam as racist in nature. Whatever were the initial motivations of those choosing to vilify Adam, it is his view and ours that it is racist in nature and that it has to stop.
The AFL industry has so much of which to be proud, and this issue provides all with a golden opportunity to take a strong stance against racism. Any further behaviour of the nature we have seen directed towards Adam Goodes should be condemned for what it is – racism. The AFL Players’ Association and our members call on all football fans to take a stance and report any such behaviour.
It is clear from our perspective more work needs to be done in respect to education around racial vilification and our focus now turns to how we, as an industry, achieve that.