Richmond will be the first sporting team to show their support for absent Swan Adam Goodes on the field of play when the Tigers take on AFL premiership favourites Hawthorn on Friday night.
Richmond will wear their indigenous-themed guernseys at the MCG in a show of solidarity with Goodes, who has chosen not to play this weekend after being worn down by the relentless booing from opposition fans which he believes is racially motivated.
“The fact of the matter is that it’s bullying at best and racism at worst,” Richmond coach Damien Hardwick said on Thursday.
“We just wanted to throw our support (behind Adam). It’s not something the AFL community wants to see – one of the greats of our game not playing because of this impact.
“Our players have made a stand and want to support Goodesy in this way.”
The Western Bulldogs will also wear their indigenous strip in Sunday’s clash against Essendon.
Bulldogs captain Bob Murphy was one of many players – in both the AFL and other sports – to back Goodes, who is reportedly considering retirement.
“Every time I’ve heard the boos of this mob I’ve hung my head in despair, chin to chest,” Murphy wrote in a column for Fairfax Media.
“I suspect it’s been the same for some players at every club in the AFL.
“… Hopefully this weekend Adam can feel the support he has around him from those who play alongside him.
“What can players do? How will we show Goodesy that it’s not all up to him?
“We can stand next to him and his brothers and stick out our chin.”
North Queensland rugby league great Johnathan Thurston has pledged to do a war dance celebration if he scores a try for the Cowboys in Saturday’s NRL game against Canberra, showing that support for Goodes crosses sporting boundaries.