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Adam Goodes Calls Out Australian Government For Failing To Address AFL Racism

Adam Goodes Calls Out Australian Government For Failing To Address AFL Racism

Adam Goodes has slammed Australia's politicians for not addressing the "toxic" culture and environment impacting Indigenous athletes in the AFL.

The Sydney Swans legend was subject to ongoing racial abuse throughout his decorated career, resulting in the two-time Brownlow Medallist hanging up the boots for good back in 2015.

Now, 40-year-old Goodes has opened up about his harrowing experiences of racism and why he was forced to turn his back on the game he loved.

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"Me choosing to walk away was me making a choice for my own mental health," Goodes told the BBC.

"And I needed to get away from this toxic environment which, up until that point in time, had been a safe place for me to just be an incredible player that I wanted to be and to learn to be the leader that I was.

"But here I had the choice to submit myself to this toxic environment or get away from it and really reassess my priorities.

"I think the biggest thing that's changed for me is that I'm not putting myself in a situation for that abuse to be put on me every time I went to work.

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"I'm incredibly happy and I've definitely moved on from that part of my life."

Adam Goodes' mural in Sydney, Australia. Credit: Kate Geraghty
Adam Goodes' mural in Sydney, Australia. Credit: Kate Geraghty

Being on the receiving end of some vile racial slurs during his playing days, Goodes is more than aware of the harsh and brutal realities facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander AFL players.

But with a Prime Minister blatantly turning a blind eye, the Swans icon has now called for immediate action from elsewhere in parliament.

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Goodes said: "I don't know if they're listening or not.

"There's other issues going on in our country that they think need more attention.

"You have to remember, we're 2.8 per cent of the population here in Australia, so not much time and effort is put into working with us as Indigenous people.

"And when I say working 'with' us, that's listening to us, taking our advice and creating good governance and policy behind it.

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"We have some incredible Indigenous leaders now in our parties which is great. We need more of it.

"For me, I will work with government, I will help them achieve their KPIs when it comes to Indigenous outcomes but I don't have time to wait for them and Indigenous people don't have time to wait for the government to get this right.

"So we're working with corporates here in Australia who understand it, who see the value here in Australia of working with Indigenous people whether it's for education, employment or philanthropic work."

Featured Image Credit: AFL (Sydney Swans)

Topics: Racism, Australia

Max Sherry

Max Sherry is a journalist for SPORTbible Australia. After migrating Down Under from London as a teenager, he instantly fell in love with Aussie sport and its culture. From NRL to AFL, cricket to rugby — you name it, Max watches it (with a beer in hand, of course). During his time at Fox Sports, he worked in the football department covering the Premier League, A-League, Socceroos and Matildas. Born a stone's throw away from West Ham's training ground, Max is obviously a die-hard Liverpool fan.

 

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