Swans still waiting for Goodes

Adam Goodes is still to indicate whether he will return to the AFL next week.

Goodes is on indefinite leave from the game following persistent vilification by opposing fans over several weeks and missed Sydney’s 52-point clobbering of the Crows at the SCG on Saturday.

Swans coach John Longmire said after the Adelaide fixture he had received no indication of whether Goodes would be available for next Saturday’s match at Geelong.

“He is mature enough and wise enough to know when he’s ready to play or not and we’ll be guided by him, so we’ll just wait,” Longmire said.

There were many demonstrations of support for Goodes at the SCG and in other AFL games played on Saturday.

At Etihad Stadium, North’s indigenous forward Lindsay Thomas turned to the crowd after kicking a last quarter goal against Carlton, pulled aside his guernsey and pointed to an aboriginal flag tattooed on his chest.

At the MCG, Melbourne players wore armbands in the colours of the Aboriginal flag during their match against Collingwood.

NRL superstar Johnathan Thurston reportedly had an indigenous celebration planned had he scored a try against Canberra on Saturday, but didn’t cross the Raiders stripe in their 32-24 home win.

Another NRL star, Souths’ Greg Inglis may have some kind of celebration or gesture of support for Goodes in Sunday’s match against Penrith.

While Goodes wasn’t sighted at the SCG on Saturday, it seemed like his presence was everywhere.

Many banners at the ground bore messages of support for him, mentioning him by name or guernsey number, while the Swans’ banner for the game contained just one word, respect.

A video package featuring Goodes played in the last 60 seconds before the first bounce, produced loud cheers from Sydney supporters, with Adelaide fans showing their support by waving an indigenous flag.

Acknowledging Goodes’ guernsey number of 37, Sydney fans stood and cheered at the seven-minute mark of the third quarter.

Once the game started, it took just 54 seconds for an indigenous celebration.

Lewis Jetta, who performed a war dance in support of Goodes after kicking a goal against West Coast last Sunday, did another celebratory dance after splitting the posts on the run from 52 metres.

Longmire said Jetta’s words at a team meeting on Tuesday about playing good football on Saturday hit home.

He found it hard to quantify to what degree Goodes’ situation had inspired the Swans.

Before the game, Swans’ chairman Andrew Pridham described Goodes as a great leader, educator and philanthropist and said Sydney’s games record holder had been subjected to relentless booing because he was Aboriginal and had the courage to stand and speak about matters close to his heart.

He compared Goodes’ stand to that of legendary American civil rights activist Rosa Parks and slammed media pundits who refused to view the booing of the Sydney star as racism.

“I believe that the events of the last week are a seminal moment in our history – perhaps it was a moment that our nation needed to have,” Pridham said.

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