A new interview with Adam Goodes in which he revealed he never wants to return to the AFL in any capacity has sparked an ugly backlash from fans.
Goodes sat down with Sydney Morning Herald journalist Sam Lane recently, opening up about how he “died inside” after being hounded out of the game by booing fans in 2015.
‘There’s nothing, today, that excites me, or that makes me think I would like to be back in AFL circles,” he told Lane.
“I have no interest. No interest whatsoever. My love for the game died inside of me in those final years of me playing.”
The article was published online on Friday before it appears in full in the Herald on Saturday.
While many expressed their remorse and sadness for Goodes, many others continued to attack him.
Fellow Herald journalist Vince Rugari said some of the comments showed Goodes would still be booed if playing today.
“The reaction to Adam Goodes' comments...show why he could never feel comfortable back in the game. He would absolutely still get booed. And it's very, very sad,” Rugari tweeted.
The reaction to Adam Goodes' comments via @SamJaneLane's great piece (worth reading in full in the @smh tomorrow) show why he could never feel comfortable back in the game. He would absolutely still get booed. And it's very, very sad.— Vince Rugari (@VinceRugari) August 16, 2019
Others agreed, with one labelling the new furore ‘disgraceful’ and ‘cruel’.
It's disgraceful really. He has said how much it hurt him & people still want to abuse him. How cruel can people be?— scott (@SFynmore) August 16, 2019
Something rotten with parts of the AFL fanbase. Beyond repair.— Phil Lutton (@phillutton78) August 16, 2019
A number of social media users slammed Goodes’ new interview, saying he was continuing to play the victim.
After the unnecessary damage caused entirely by him, this is no surprise at all— Mark Jardine (@markbjardine) August 16, 2019
Most indigenous and non-indigenous players will continue to be loved and supported in the game which has given them a great living and elevated status
Boo hoo.— Todd (@_An_Act_Of_Todd) August 16, 2019
Adam Goodes is so desperate to be a victim he should carry a piece of chalk around with him.
Black, white or brown, if doesn't matter, Australians don't like wankers.
I wonder how the young girl Goodes needlessly humiliated in front of millions of people is going? https://t.co/VeeSwZk3yt
We hope the media can move on from this too.— Ethan Salsbury (@EthanSalsbury1) August 16, 2019
Enough of the victim card.— thebigmac (@NerylMcphee) August 16, 2019
He moves on does he? lol don’t seem like it... for a game he fell out of love of, he’s still involved in it 4 years later— peta.kal (@PeteyPie007) August 16, 2019
Adam Goodes, please leave us alone and get on with your life— The Bag Man (@TheBagMan12) August 16, 2019
I might actually throw a party this news is that God dam amazing!!!!— wade kisyma (@WKisyma) August 16, 2019
Goodes hated stepping onto football field
In a new documentary ‘The Australian Dream’, Goodes reveals how racist taunts and booing made him hate stepping on to the football field at the back end of his career.
"It (the football field) actually became a place I hated to walk out on to," Goodes says in the documentary.
Despite the confronting subject matter, however, the film was ultimately a story of hope, the film's writer Stan Grant said at the premiere.
"It's a very confronting, it's a very challenging thing. Ultimately, for me, it can be a story of redemption and it can be a story of hope," Grant said.
Aboriginal voices and experiences had to be listened to, he said.
"No one wants to be the angry Aborigine.... Australia needs to get past the idea that because you speak up and you speak against the idea of what other people may think Australia is, it doesn't mean that you don't also love your country and want the best for your country."
Former Swans player and Goodes' best friend Michael O'Loughlin said parts of the film tipped him "over the edge".
Listening to what Goodes' mum had gone through was particularly hard, he said.
"Then she had to watch her boy play a game of football, imagine walking into an arena with 50,000 people booing your son or daughter, it's a really hard thing to take," he said.
Some commentators said opposition supporters booed Goodes because he was staging for free kicks in his latter years.
In 2013, Goodes provoked a national conversation about racism when he demanded a 13-year-old Collingwood supporter who had called him an "ape" be removed from the ground.
He described the girl as the face of racism in Australia.