Sydney players will lead a mass nationwide show of support for teammate Adam Goodes on Saturday.
Goodes has withdrawn from Saturday’s AFL game against Adelaide as he struggles to cope with the continued booing he has been subjected to from opposition supporters all season.
The Swans aren’t expecting Goodes to attend the game at the SCG, but will show their support for the dual Brownlow Medallist.
Their game day banner is expected to contain an anti-racism message and a highlights package of his career will be played on the scoreboard before the first bounce.
There will be widespread gestures of support for Goodes this weekend across the AFL and in other sports.
Richmond and the Western Bulldogs are wearing their indigenous jerseys this week, while Aboriginal players from Carlton and North Melbourne will join the captains at the centre circle for the coin toss on Saturday night at Etihad Stadium.
AFL club captains issued a joint statement on Friday calling for an end to booing and jeering at players.
“Enough is enough,” the statement on behalf of 18 clubs said.
“Enjoy the game, celebrate the success but don’t boo, jeer or taunt players because of who they are or what they stand for.”
NRL indigenous stars Johnathan Thurston and Greg Inglis plan to perform war dances if they score a try in their matches.
And a replica of Goodes’ No.37 guernsey will be on display at the V8 Supercars event this weekend in Queensland.
While some commentators and supporters say the booing is not racially based, but is directed at the way Goodes plays football, AFL chief Gillon McLachlan has implored fans to lead the way and put an end to it.
“Supporters are the true custodians of the game, and have always ultimately decided what is the right or wrong way to behave, both on the field and off it,” McLachlan wrote on Friday on the AFL website.
“Whether you agree or not, the booing of Adam Goodes is perceived by him and many others as being racially motivated and that’s hurting us all.”
He said he couldn’t tell fans how to behave but they had always decided what was the right and wrong way to behave both on and off the field.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has also joined a groundswell of support for Goodes.
“The last thing we want in Australia is anything that smacks of racism,” Mr Abbott told radio 2SM on Friday.
“He is a good bloke, and I hope he will be treated with civility and dignity.”
Swans assistant coach Stuart Dew is adamant the players will focus on the game against Adelaide despite the off-field distractions.