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Adam Goodes rejects new Hall of Fame offer amid sad situation around AFL champion

The Sydney Swans great is continuing his stance of shying away from the AFL in retirement.

Adam Goodes has continued his sad stance and rejected an offer to be inducted into the NSW Australian Football Hall of Fame. AFL NSW/ACT has unveiled a list of over 100 influential figures set to be the first inductees into the NSW Hall of Fame, but Goodes was a notable absentee when the list was revealed this week.

Sydney Swans legends Tony Lockett, Paul Kelly and Brett Kirk headline the inductees, while the club's current coach John Longmire has also been honoured. But Goodes declined his invitation to be inducted.

Adam Goodes and his wife.
Adam Goodes has largely shunned the AFL since his retirement in 2015. Image: Getty

A spokesperson for AFL NSW/ACT said: “Adam is a great champion and leader of our game who made an immeasurable impact on Australian rules football in NSW. AFL NSW/ACT has reached out to Adam regarding the NSW Australian Football Hall of Fame and will respect his choice regarding his induction.”

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Goodes also rejected an offer to be inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame in 2021, with his stance thought to be in relation to the way his career finished. The 44-year-old is one of the Swans' greatest champions and played 372 games for the club.

However he retired from the AFL (somewhat prematurely) in 2015 after being relentlessly booed by opposition fans during games. Goodes called out a spectator for calling him an 'ape' during a game against Collingwood in 2013 during Indigenous Round. The Magpies fan, who was removed from the stadium, turned out to be a 13-year-old girl.

Goodes has largely shunned the AFL since his retirement and declined an offer to take part in the annual parade for retired players at the 2015 grand final. He has also knocked back invitations to attend major functions like the Brownlow Medal.

Adam Goodes in 2011.
Adam Goodes in action for the Sydney Swans in 2011. (Getty Images)

AFL 'didn't do enough' to help Adam Goodes

Speaking in 2021 about Goodes' decision to decline his Hall of Fame offer, AFL Commission chairman Richard Goyder said the league had failed the Swans champion. “The treatment of Adam in his final years at AFL level drove him from football,” Goyder said.

“The AFL and our game did not do enough to stand with him at the time, and call it out. The unreserved apology that the game provided him in 2019 was too late, but, on behalf of our commission and the AFL, I apologise unreservedly again for our failures during this period.

“Failure to call out racism and not standing up for Adam let down all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players, past and present. We hope that there will be a time in the future when Adam will want to be connected to the game again.”

Adam Goodes joined teammates for a Sydney Swans premiership reunion in 2022.
Adam Goodes joined teammates for a Sydney Swans premiership reunion in 2022. (Getty Images)

In 2022, Goodes made a rare appearance in an AFL situation during a parade for the Swans' premiership-winning team from 2012 at the SCG. "We speak to Adam a fair bit, it was more about from a public perspective coming to the game," Longmire said at the time.

"We've got a good relationship with Adam so it was great to see him at the footy, good to see him with his mates. He'll come to the footy when he wants to come to the footy.

"He's got a lot going on in his life at the moment, got a couple of little kids and he's enjoying that. He had a great time with the boys on the weekend which was great to see."

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