After Watching New Doco, Goodes Booers Admit They Were Wrong
The documentary 'The Final Quarter' is already having a huge impact.
Many people who booed Adam Goodes in the tumultuous years from 2013-2015 are now admitting they misread the situation, and that they've "listened and learned".
Or in short, that they were wrong to boo.
'The Final Quarter', which screens soon on Network 10, portrays the last three years in the career of the dual Brownlow Medal and dual premiership-winning Sydney Swans champ, who was effectively booed out of the game.
At the time, and afterwards, the booing was an issue which divided Australians.
Many people claimed they hated the way Goodes "staged" for free kicks -- even though in 2015 when the booing peaked, he finished equal-195th among all AFL players on the list of free kicks earned. So in other words, the numbers say he was staging a lot less than numerous other players.
Then why the booing?
Many were threatened by Goodes' tribal war dance against Carlton, which celebrated Indigenous culture much like the Maori haka, but which offended some AFL fans.
Others did not like his reaction to a Collingwood fan who called him an "ape", when instead of wearing the slur, Goodes pointed at the crowd member who said it. They said he "picked on" or "bullied a child -- even though Goodes had no idea at the time that the racist abuse came from a 13-year-old girl, then offered support no fewer than 28 times the next day.
Others wrongly attributed anti-Australian sentiment to his very magnanimous and conciliatory Australian of the Year acceptance speech n 2014.
But after seeing 'The Final Quarter', many have changed their tune. That's the word from the "GO Foundation" -- the not-for-profit founded by Goodes and former Swans teammate Michael O'Loughlin -- which aims to improve the lives of Indigenous youth through education.
"Some people never listened to Adam, but they now they have their facts right," a GO Foundation spokesperson told 10 daily. "That's the thing about a great documentary. It just puts the facts in the right order."
Shirley Chowdhary, CEO of GO, told ABC News that emails had been coming in from all across Australia since 'The Final Quarter' screened at the Sydney Film Festival earlier this month.
"At GO, we have always received letters and emails from people who have said they were one of the people who booed Adam during that time, and that they have now listened and learned," Chowdhary said.
But she said that the number of people had "probably tripled" in the two weeks since the film launched at the Sydney Film Festival.
Meanwhile, Hawthorn has announced its players will wear the number 37 on the back of their warm up guernseys ahead of their Round 14 clash with Sydney, in a show of support and respect for Goodes, who played in the number 37.
Hawks veteran Shaun Burgoyne said the playing group decided on the initiative as a public show of support.
"With Adam’s documentary coming out, it was a good chance to reflect on where we are as an industry and where we’ve come from,” Burgoyne said.
“On reflection, clubs and players have come out and admitted that at the time, our response wasn’t good enough.
"Obviously we can’t turn back time, but as we’re playing Sydney in Sydney this Friday night, we thought it was a perfect opportunity to show our support for Adam publicly.
"We want to show that we’re all beside him, united in stamping out racism."