A year after his spear-throwing celebration provoked a massive debate, Adam Goodes is able to joke about the incident.
Asked at the SCG before Friday’s AFL match between Sydney and North Melbourne if Australia was in a better place after the conversation over the incident, he said: “I definitely hope so, the amount of people who have have good conversations about it.
“I think there’s a lot more people out there who aren’t too scared of imaginary spears.
“It’s one of those things you just take it with a grain of salt – that it is part of the conversation.
“We try to move on as quickly as possible and, if we can have a laugh about it in a year or two’s time, that’s fantastic.”
The 36-year-old triggered a media firestorm last May when he performed an indigenous war dance in which he mimed throwing a spear after kicking a goal against Carlton in an AFL indigenous-round match at the SCG.
The display divided opinion and dominated the media landscape, and the second half of the final season of Goodes’ distinguished AFL career was overshadowed by booing from supporters of opposing clubs.
The dual Brownlow Medallist and great friend and former teammate Michael O’Loughlin were scheduled to present the inaugural Goodes-O’Loughlin Medal to the best on ground in Friday night’s SCG clash.
For the third straight year, the Swans wore an indigenous-round jersey bearing art designed by Goodes’ mother, Lisa.
It was only the second Swans game Goodes had seen this season, following the lap of honour he did at halftime of the round-three Sydney derby at the SCG.
He said he had been enjoying himself getting around Australia and travelling overseas.
Swans chairman Andrew Pridham noted the Swans’ academy had 24 indigenous players, about four per cent of its total amount.
He said an indigenous academy would be housed alongside the broader Swans academy in the planned $40 million training facility to be built in the Moore Park precinct.