Sydney Swans star and dual Brownlow medallist Adam Goodes is contemplating immediate retirement from the AFL, as the booing controversy reaches fever pitch.
Goodes has told a few of his teammates and those in his inner sanctum he is weighing up his playing future, Fairfax reports.
During Sunday’s game against the West Coast Eagles at Domain Stadium in Perth, Goodes was subjected to a torrent of abuse from the home team fans.
The abuse led to teammate Lewis Jetta performing a traditional Indigenous war dance where he mimicked throwing a spear at the offending crowd.
As the booing row escalates, Goodes has taken two days off training.
“Adam needs a couple of days away … to take a breath about it,” Sydney coach John Longmire said at training on Tuesday.
Asked if Goodes would play against Adelaide in their round 18 match on Saturday, Longmire replied: “We’ll just take that as we go.
“We need to make sure that we’re fully supportive of him and wait a day or two and let things settle down and he’ll decide that.
“There’s no pressure on him at all.”
Retired Swans premiership player Michael O’Loughlin wouldn’t comment on retirement reports but said Goodes was battling with the ongoing booing.
“He is really struggling mentally and physically,” O’Loughlin, a father-figure to Goodes, told Fairfax. “There’s only so much a man can take before his legs start to buckle.
“This isn’t a WA thing or an AFL thing – it’s an Australian issue. To be called an Abo, a nigger, 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.
“For people to say it’s not racist … What else can it be? I read about one fan who was evicted after yelling out, ‘Get back to the zoo’. He was just ‘banter’. What absolute garbage.”
O’Loughlin, however, said he was confident the Swans would continue to back and support Goodes at future games, saying the team’s first “test” would be at the next away match against Geelong at Simonds Stadium on August 8.
“They are a great club with some great leaders,” he said. “They have some loyal supporters and I am sure they will make a stand. They will fall behind and stand up for the number 37.”