I hadn't really followed the Adam Goodes saga, or crisis, or full-blown racist dipshit kerfuffle, whatever you want to call it, until yesterday. But I finally got caught up. And now I feel sort of existentially sick, as though my soul has been dipped into a simmering cauldron of Eddie Maguire’s anal leakage.
Apologies to overseas readers who have no idea what I'm talking about. Here is the shareware lite version. Adam Goodes is a football player. He runs on for the Sydney Swans In the Australian Football League. He has twice won the Brownlow Medal, awarded each year to the player judged Best and Fairest in the national competition. Adam Goodes is an aborigine. For the last year, whenever he has stepped onto the ground outside of Sydney the fans of opposing teams have booed him. Why? Oh, they have a lot of bullshit reasons (his playing style, some dancing thing), but trust me, we are in this giant boiling cauldron of arse juice because Adam Goodes is a black man.
So toxic has this racist abuse become that the racists have been forced to come up with excuses for it. You know things are bad when racists feel obliged to find an excuse to be racists. It means their racism has gone viral and now people are asking questions.
It is possible that Goodes may not play this weekend, indeed that he may retire from the game completely without ever setting foot on the field again, because of the toll placed, not on him, but on his teammates. Did I mention that Adam Goodes was also chosen as Australian of the Year? Sorry, I must have forgotten that, the same way that all of the bigots who have piled onto him keep forgetting that it's not about ethics in gaming journalism (thanks Preston Towers) it's about them being bigots.
The crisis, and it is a crisis, has reached the point where even the slow-moving bureaucratic muntosaurs running the AFL have been forced to act. They sat down for crisis talks this week and decided they would really like it if the tens of thousands of racist tools who keep paying good money at the turnstiles would keep paying good money at the turnstiles but leave the public expression of their deepest and most sincerely felt bigotries at the gate. But please, bring your money. To encourage tens of thousands of racists to keep bringing the money, but not their racism, the AFL is going to do… something. Or… Maybe…Er…
I'm not an AFL fan. But a long time ago I did have a Victorian friend who followed North Melbourne and so I followed them for a while too, during the era of Malcolm Blight and the Krakouer brothers. I have a residual fondness for the game, but not growing up in Melbourne means I was not baptised into the cult. That residual fondness, however, is now tainted by the sour taste of arse jus. A vintage reduction brewed up, not just in the stands at Sydney's away games, but in the columns of the News Ltd press, where such fine, upstanding Australians as Mr Andrew Bolt have weighed into the matter – to criticise Goodes.
I know. I too was shocked.
Is there a solution to this? I can only think of one. Every time it happens, every AFL player with a shred of human decency should refuse to keeping play. Just stop, fold their arms and stare at the crowd. That won't happen of course. But it would be a great thing if it did – for the game and for the country, both of which have long benefitted from the contrubitions of indigenous players like Adam Goodes and the Krakouer brothers.
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