Daily BulletinDaily Bulletin

The Conversation

  • Written by The Conversation
imageRace Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane said the booing of Goodes, which was racist, had gone too far and was damaging not just the game but also our society.Dave Hunt/AAP

Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane has said that if the vilification of Adam Goodes does not stop, players may have to take matter “into their own hands” and walk off the field in protest.

Soutphommasane said the booing of Goodes was racist, had gone too far and was damaging not just the game but also our society.

Goodes, a star player for the Sydney Swans, is now having some days off training and will not play at the weekend when Sydney face the Adelaide Crows at the SCG.

In a speech – Combating Racism, Reclaiming Patriotism – at the Australian National University, Soutphommasane said the booing was “of an ugly and unedifying nature.

“It has everything to do with Goodes standing up against racism and speaking out about indigenous issues.

“Goodes has been a public figure not afraid of challenging prejudice, not afraid of asking questions about Australian history and society. He has done it in ways that have made some people feel uncomfortable.”

It beggared belief to think those who booed Goodes did not know what they were doing. “As others have noted, many may be joining in with the booing because they are seeking to put a proud Aboriginal man ‘in his place’ – because he has dared to speak out on issues touching on race,” Soutphommasane said.

Soutphommasane said that with each match and each week that the booing was tolerated, “more and more people are being given licence to degrade, humiliate and intimidate – to believe that they can hound someone who speaks out about racism into silence.

“It is an unfortunate sign of the times that this has been allowed to go on for too long, to the point where there is now even the prospect that one of the greats of the sport may be booed into retirement.”

It was welcome that the AFL had issued a statement making it clear that racism had no place in the game, Soutphommasane said. “We can only hope that the AFL, its clubs and captains can help put this to an end.

“If things do not improve – and assuming Goodes plays on – it may have to come to the players taking matters into their own hands.

“In Europe, there have been occasions in football when teams have walked off the pitch in protest against racist abuse. What an indictment on our society it would be, were things to come to reach such a point.”

Soutphommasane said that Goodes, who is an ambassador for the Human Rights Commission’s Racism: It Stops with Me campaign, had made a significant impact.

“In taking a stand against racism, he has inspired many, empowering others to do the same. And, partly because of that, he is now the target of despicable behaviour.

“Adam Goodes is a champion of football, an advocate for human rights, a man of integrity. He deserves our respect. It is not him, but those targeting him, who deserve our contempt.”

Soutphommasane also expressed concern that organised racist movements seemed to be revitalised, pointing to the Reclaim Australia rallies, where “far right, racial supremacist agitators have been visibly present”.

Leadership was important in countering extremism. Soutphommasane welcomed that musicians Jimmy Barnes, John Farnham and John Williamson had rejected the use of their songs at the Reclaim Australia rallies.

“We must also see national leadership from all sides of politics in responding to racism and religious bigotry.

“It is surprising that national political leaders have not said more to date. Yet they should be emphatic in rejecting the unedifying messages that have been sent by anti-Islam protesters. We must never be complacent about our social cohesion and national unity.”

Michelle Grattan does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.

Authors: The Conversation

Read more http://theconversation.com/players-may-have-to-act-on-racist-attack-against-goodes-soutphommasane-45369

Rising coronavirus cases among Victorian health workers could threaten our pandemic response

arrow_forward

The Conversation
INTERWEBS DIGITAL AGENCY

Politics

Scott Morrison Covid 19 update

PRIME MINISTER: Good afternoon, everyone. Today I’m joined by Professor Paul Murphy - sorry, Professor Paul Kelly. I’ve got Brendan Murphy still on the brain. You are not far from us, Brendan. B...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Interview with Ben Fordham, 2GB

FORDHAM: Thank you very much for talking to us. I know it's a difficult day for all of those Qantas workers. Look, they want to know in the short term, are you going to extend JobKeeper?   PRI...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Scott Morrison interview with Neil Mitchell

NEIL MITCHELL: Prime minister, good morning.    PRIME MINISTER: Good morning, how are you?   MICHELL: I’m okay, a bit to get to I apologise, we haven't spoken for a while and I want to get t...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Business News

Fifth Dimension: Identified as one of the world’s leading strategic consultancies

Sydney based consulting company, Fifth Dimension, has been recognised for its ground breaking work, receiving a place in the GreenBook Research Industry Trends (GRIT) Top 25 Strategic Consultancie...

Tess Sanders Lazarus - avatar Tess Sanders Lazarus

Understanding Your NextGen EHR System and Features

NextGen EHR (Electronic Health Records) systems can be rather confusing. However, they can offer the most powerful features and provide some of the most powerful solutions for your business’s EHR ne...

Rebecca Stuart - avatar Rebecca Stuart

SEO In A Time of COVID-19: A Life-Saver

The coronavirus pandemic has brought about a lot of uncertainty for everyone across the world. It has had one of the most devastating impacts on the day-to-day lives of many including business o...

a Guest Writer - avatar a Guest Writer



News Company Media Core

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion