Sydney Swans great Adam Goodes says he is “incredibly disappointed” he gets booed in Melbourne and has no idea why it happens.
Dual Brownlow Medallist Goodes was booed by some spectators in the MCG crowd whenever he touched the ball in Sydney’s AFL match against Hawthorn last Saturday.
“It doesn’t affect me whilst I’m playing, but it affects my family, my partner and friends who are at the game and they are just trying to understand why,” said Goodes at the launch of the AFL indigenous round in Sydney on Tuesday.
“I don’t know why. You’d have to go around and ask all those Hawthorn supporters, the people who come to the ground, what their problem is with me.
“I look at it after the game and to think it’s still happening is incredibly disappointing.”
It’s not the first time Goodes has been booed in Melbourne and he was targeted for racial abuse in separate incidents at the MCG in 2013 and Etihad Stadium in 2014.
Although widely respected for his footballing talent and his support for reconciliation and social issues, the 2014 Australian of the Year isn’t universally popular.
Some pundits have accused him of staging to get free kicks and it seems not everyone appreciates him speaking out on non-football issues.
AFL and indigenous icon Michael Long called Goodes a leader and a brilliant young man and said he was disappointed by some fans’ behaviour towards the Swans star.
“He’s had his challenges and people haven’t walked in his shoes,” Long said.
“People don’t see some of the great work he does off the field.
“I know the man. He’s got a great heart.
“I think people have got to look at themselves and think `why am I doing this?'”
Goodes described Dustin Fletcher’s 400th AFL appearance this weekend at the age of 40 as an amazing feat.
Goodes, who has played 357 games and is five years younger, said he couldn’t see himself playing to that age or achieving the rare quadruple century milestone.
Back to form in the last two weeks after a slow start to the season, Goodes said he could still get fitter.