Brisbane Lions great Jason Akermanis has told Adam Goodes to stop “playing the victim” and says those who label the booing of the dual Brownlow medallist as racist are kidding themselves.
As AFL and NRL players rally behind Goodes, who has taken extended leave and is reportedly considering retirement, Akermanis says fans have the right to boo anyone they like, whenever they like.
“Any stupid journalists who said that they’re racist is kidding themselves,” the Brownlow Medallist and triple premiership player told Fox Sports on Thursday.
“I got booed and no one ever said it was racist. (Former league star) Benny Elias got booed when we were in Queensland because he was from NSW. Umpires get booed every week.
“Adam Goodes has got to stop looking like a sook and stop making it about him in this sense, and also he should stop trying to play the victim.”
Akermanis said it would be a shame if Goodes decided to retire over the controversy, and said the 35-year-old needed to make a decision about “whether he’s for the club or for himself”.
“If you don’t play, who’s winning?
“For Adam and for me and for anyone else who’s been booed, which I have over many years and got called even worse names than what he did, you cannot let them win.”
It comes as Richmond announce they will don their 2015 Dreamtime guernseys in Friday’s match against Hawthorn at the MGC in support of Goodes.
Top NRL indigenous players including North Queensland co-captain Jonathan Thurston and South Sydney’s Greg Inglis are also planning to perform a traditional Aboriginal war dance at upcoming games.