Adam Goodes’ return was all about the footy, not booing.
A few Geelong fans booed Goodes when he first touched the ball but then seemed to forget about the booing controversy.
The dual Brownlow medallist was like any Sydney Swan on the Cats’ home ground, or any opposition player at an away ground: booed sporadically but that was it.
It was nothing like the relentless booing from opposition supporters that prompted Goodes, distressed by treatment he believed was racist, to take a one-week break.
Sydney chairman Andrew Pridham said it’s about respect, not diminishing the passion felt by fans.
“All players deserve respect. Paying $30 to come to the football does not give you the right to bully, harass, abuse anybody,” Pridham told a Geelong pre-game function.
“Treating anyone the way Adam Goodes has been treated for no good reason is totally unacceptable.”
Geelong president Colin Carter says Goodes, as an AFL champion, deserves better than how he has been treated by opposing fans for much of the season.
“We know that there are many reasons given to justify the booing but none justifies the extent of it.
“It became nasty and is nothing like the traditional booing at the footy which is like booing a pantomime villain.”
Pridham is one of many in the AFL fraternity quick to speak up for Goodes and his contribution to the game.
“I don’t think he’s a great Aboriginal man. I think he’s a great man,” he said.