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Adam Goodes turns down place in Australian Football Hall of Fame

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AFL and Sydney Swans legend Adam Goodes has declined the offer to join the Australian Football Hall of Fame.

Two-time Prime Minister and Brownlow Medalist, and Australian of the Year in 2014, Goodes was unanimously shortlisted for the Hall of Fame this year, but declined induction.

According to a report in the Sun Herald, the reasons he turned down the honor have to do with how ugly his career ended, when he was subjected to relentless racially-motivated boos for the last 18 months of his time in the game.

Much of Goodes’ appalling treatment in the later years of her career dates back to 2013, when he reported a young Collingwood fan to MCG security after she called the swan a “monkey” during a Friday night game won by Sydney.

After the game, Goodes encouraged the 13-year-old for support, saying it wasn’t her fault.

“I’ve had fantastic support over the past 24 hours,” Goodes said at the time.

“I just hope people give the 13-year-old the same kind of support because she needs it, her family needs it and the people around them need it.

“This is not a witch hunt, I don’t want people to pick on this young girl.

“We just need to help educate society better so that it doesn’t happen again. ”

Shortly after this incident, Collingwood president Eddie McGuire, who had previously apologized for Goodes after being the victim of racist abuse, suggested on the radio that the Sydney star should be used to promote the musical. . King Kong. McGuire was not punished by the AFL for the remarks.

Goodes was then booed loudly by opposition supporters whenever he took possession of the ball – which escalated after he hosted an Indigenous celebration during the Indigenous Round in 2015.

Despite calls from the 18 AFL club captains at the time – released through an open statement from the AFL Players Association – the boos became more relentless throughout the year .

Ultimately, Goodes took a week off in 2015, before quietly announcing his retirement after Sydney’s semi-final loss to North Melbourne later in the year.

Adam Goodes. (Photo by Ryan Pierse / Getty Images)

The AFL ultimately admitted to failing Adam Goodes in its 2015 annual report, with CEO Gillon McLachlan stating that “By the time Adam retired he had been subjected to a level of boos and behaviors that none of our players did. should never face. As a game we should have acted sooner and I’m sorry we acted too slowly. “

McLachlan had been quoted earlier that year, however, as saying “we cannot tell our supporters to behave”.

It’s unclear what, if anything, the game did over the next several years to mend its relationship with the former Swan.

AFL Commission Chairman Richard Goyder released a lengthy statement Tuesday morning in response to Goodes’ decision.

“Adam had asked the AFL to wait before announcing his decision, which has now been made public separately,” Goyder said.

Adam was clear he didn’t want his decision to undermine the timing of the inductees in 2021.

“Adam remains a great champion and leader of our game who gave more to our sport than he received in return.

“Adam’s treatment during his later years at the AFL level kept him away from football. The AFL and our game did not do enough to support him at the time and call him.

“The wholehearted apology the game gave him in 2019 was too late, but on behalf of our Commission and the AFL I again wholeheartedly apologize for our failures during this time.

“Not speaking out against racism and defending Adam has let down all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players, past and present.

“We hope there will be a point in the future when Adam wants to be connected to the game again. This is a decision for Adam and Adam only and we understand and respect his choice,” said Mr. Goyder. .

In the same way he rescinded his Hall of Fame induction, Goodes also refused to take a spot in the retired players’ round of honor in 2015, and he would apparently no longer watch the games of the AFL.

He returned to SCG, however, for a farewell ride – alongside fellow retired Mike Pyke – in the 2016 3rd Round of the Sydney Derby.

Two documentaries, The last quarter and The Australian dream, were published in 2019 and detailed Goodes’ final years as an AFL player, both of which are worth watching.

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