Something for the weekend: Paul Kelly & Dan Sultan “Every Day My Mother’s Voice”

That’s it from us for another week dear reader, and after the depressing scenes following the Euros final last weekend both online and off, we leave you with a pertinent track from another continent which could also fit into our currently resting Political Pops section.

Adam Goodes was a champion AFL footballer in Australia and an Indigenous leader. On 24th May 2013, during an AFL game, a 13-year-old supporter of the opposing team called Goodes an “ape”. On hearing the abuse, Goodes pointed the girl out to security, who ejected her from the stadium. Goodes was deeply affected by the incident, but said repeatedly that the girl should not be blamed; the environment that she grew up in had shaped her response. The girl phoned to apologise, saying that she hadn’t realised the impact of her words.

Over the following years, Goodes was repeatedly and loudly booed by opposition fans at most matches. The motivation for, and acceptability of, the booing generated wide public debate in Australia, which dominated media coverage from both sports and political commentators for weeks at a time.

During a match against Carlton in May 2015, again during the Indigenous Round, Goodes celebrated a goal by performing an Aboriginal war dance, in which he mimed throwing a spear in the direction of the Carlton cheer squad. Goodes said after the incident that the dance was based on one he learned from under-16s Indigenous team the Flying Boomerangs, and that it was intended as an expression of Indigenous pride during Indigenous Round, not as a means of offending or intimidating the crowd. The booing of Goodes intensified in the months after the war dance. Goodes took indefinite leave from the game in August of the 2015 season and retired the next month. He did not attend the Grand Final, where retiring players traditionally take part in a parade, one of only a handful of players to decline this invitation since the parade for retiring players was established.

Not much more to say about this other than being in a position of influence and not condemning the booing by “fans” of BAME players probably makes you as complicit as the people doing the booing, and you didn’t have to wait till 2021 to find that out. Have a good one.


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About Mark Whitfield 1683 Articles
Mark Whitfield has been Editor of Americana UK for the last 20 years while also working in public health as his day job, which has been kind of busy recently.

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