(by Ray Dixon – no, it’s not a footy post per se, it’s about racism … or not)
Noun: A large primate (families Pongidae and Hylobatidae) that lacks a tail, including the gorilla, chimpanzees, orangutan, and gibbons.
Verb: Imitate the behavior or manner of (someone or something), esp. in an absurd or unthinking way.
I have to say it: I really think Sydney’s Adam Goodes went over-the-top with his very public confrontation and finger-pointing of a thirteen-year-old girl for calling him an “ape” in the dying minutes of last night’s Collingwood v Sydney game.
The amount of news coverage this fairly innocuous incident has generated has been extraordinary … and I have to wonder if Adam Goodes knew it would do that.
Goodes pointed out the girl to ground security who then escorted her from the venue. He then left the field immediately after the siren “shattered and distraught” with the girl’s behaviour, thereby adding to the drama. And he kept it up in interviews:
‘‘I am pretty gutted to be honest. To win, the first of its kind in 13 years, to win by 47 points against Collingwood, to play such a pivotal role, it sort of means nothing,’’
‘‘To come to the boundary line, to hear a 13-year-old girl call me an ape – and it’s not the first time on a footy field that I have been referred to as a monkey or an ape – it was shattering.”
‘‘I turned around, and when I saw it was a young girl, and I thought she was 14, that was my initial thought, I was just like: ‘Really, how could that happen?’’
A little girl.
Wouldn’t you think a man of his stature – over 300 games, two Brownlows, two Premierships, a superstar of the game – would just shrug it off once he realised his vilifier was a little kid? It hardly seems worth all the fuss.
It just so happened that this was Indigenous Round and, not only that, the 20th anniversary of Nicky Winmar’s famous stance against racial abuse (also involving Collingwood supporters).
Nicky Winmar was clearly justified in his stance but the differences here are many, including that Winmar was indeed subject to a tirade of racist abuse from a wide section of the crowd, whereas Adam was called an “ape” by just one little girl.
In the dying moments of a game that was already won. On Friday night TV.
I think Goodes over-reacted here and may have milked this incident to create his own ‘Nicky Winmar moment’ in history. You know, the day he stood up to racism too.
Maybe he should have lifted his jumper and pointed to his skin, if he wanted so badly to replicate Winmar’s brave stance. He failed.
And maybe the 13-year-old should have chosen her taunt more carefully.
I’d suggest next time she calls him one (or more) of the following:
- “Attention whore”
- “Kiddy abuser”
- “Weak bastard”
- “Drama queen”
- “Ugly bearded yobbo”
I reckon he’d cry about those too.