Sydney Swans star Adam Goodes has received a warm round of support this weekend both on and off the field.
Last night, AFL sporting stars took to the Sydney Cricket Ground for the game between the Sydney Swans and the Adelaide Crows in front of nearly 40,000 spectators — one of the highest home crowds of the season.
Sydney Swans players took to the field through a huge “RESPECT” banner, a nod to Goodes in his absence.
The home crowd was also seen sporting Aboriginal flags and banners reading “No room for racism” and “In Goodes we trust” and “It’s a Goodes time to cheer cheer”.
During the seventh minute of the third quarter, the crowd stood for a minute’s worth of a applause – a tribute to Goodes’ guernsey number 37.
Earlier this week, the former Australian of the Year took indefinite leave following continuous booing from opposition supporters.
It followed comments by an Eagles supporter who allegedly told Goodes to “get back to the zoo” during the match against the West Coast Eagles at Subiaco.
But over the weekend, both football fans and supporters at home took to Twitter to express their support with #IStandWithAdam.
— Adam Spencer (@adambspencer) August 1, 2015
— Coralie Alison (@CoralieAlison) August 1, 2015
— PatriciaKarvelas (@PatsKarvelas) August 1, 2015
I don't believe that one needs to come from any particular place in order to take a stand against bigotry. Im not Aussie but #IStandWithAdam
— MichaelRaymond-James (@MRaymondJames) August 1, 2015
— Nakkiah Lui (@nakkiahlui) July 30, 2015
Goodes has been a lightning rod for race relations with critics arguing that Goodes has brought “politics into football” and booing doesn’t constitute racism.
But as Simon Thomsen argued earlier this week, while booing Goodes does not make you a racist, it does show a disappointing moment in sporting history where the pleasure of sport has ceded to a lynch mob.
“Supporters are the true custodians of the game, and have always ultimately decided what is the right or wrong way to behave, both on the field and off it,” wrote AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan in an open letter to fans yesterday.
“Whether you agree or not, the booing of Adam Goodes is perceived by him and many others as being racially motivated and that’s hurting us all.”
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