What they said this week on Adam Goodes


AFL CEO GILLON MCLACHLAN: “There is a point where you go, `regardless of how we got here, I respect that’s how you’re feeling … and I’ll let you play’…I want to look forward and look to our supporters to lead us out of here.”

Prime Minister TONY ABBOTT: “Certainly the last thing we want in Australia is anything, anything at all, that smacks of racism.”

Sydney co-captain KIEREN JACK: “As football players you can almost come out to the football field and escape a lot of issues and problems that you have. For Adam, he doesn’t see that as an option…it’s really upsetting to see it.”

Fremantle coach ROSS LYON: “There’s no ambiguity any more. So from here, if you continue to boo Adam Goodes, well, you’re a racist and you’re a bigot. And that would take this country back to the White Australia Policy in 1967.”

NSW Premier MIKE BAIRD: “Some may argue that the line between good-natured and malicious heckling can be fuzzy. But there is nothing fuzzy about this. The line has been crossed.”

West Coast Eagles CEO TREVOR NISBETT, after West Coast vs Sydney: “It was a minority of our fans booing yesterday, but it has happened across the competition for a number of weeks and as an AFL community we have to address this matter. I implore all clubs to stop this nonsense.”

AFL Players Association chief PAUL MARSH, on the possibility of Goodes retiring: “If it does continue on, then I don’t think you could blame Adam if it got to that.”

Ex-Brisbane player JASON AKERMANIS: “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.”

Ex-Geelong player and TV personality SAM NEWMAN, addressing Goodes via TV: “If you’re going to provoke people, that is by the gesture of spear throwing at a crowd, you better not be surprised if you get what you wish for and that’s a reaction.”

Sydney Swans chairman ANDREW PRIDHAM: “If you’re booing Adam Goodes I’ve got bad news for you. You’re a racist.”

Swans CEO ANDREW IRELAND: “I agree with commentators who make the point that the reason people are having a go at Adam and the booing emanates because he’s not a quiet Indigenous person who sits in the corner. He’s got a view.”

Ex-Swans teammate MICHAEL O’LOUGHLIN: “This isn’t a WA thing or an AFL thing – it’s an Australian issue. To be called an Abo, a n—-r, a black so and so, for your entire life, and then expected to sit there and accept it, it’s a reflection on Australia and where we are as a country.”

Race Discrimination Commissioner TIM SOUTPHOMMASANE: “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.”

Combined statement from all 18 AFL CLUB CAPTAINS: “As leaders we are accountable for everything we do on and off the field, and we think it’s just as important for us to be accountable and call out unacceptable behaviour when we see it. And sadly this week we have all seen it.”

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