30/7/2015 - Racism not in Goolagong’s playbook: ‘I’ve never been racially vilified on a field’

COME TOGETHER: Orange Emus hooker Tom Goolagong (pictured) didn’t weigh in too much on the Adam Goodes booing debate, and said he has never personally been racially vilified on a rugby field. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0725emus16COME TOGETHER: Orange Emus hooker Tom Goolagong (pictured) didn’t weigh in too much on the Adam Goodes booing debate, and said he has never personally been racially vilified on a rugby field. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0725emus16

THE widespread jeering and booing of Sydney Swans star Adam Goodes, most recently on Sunday in Perth against the West Coast Eagles, has led to countless people coming out in support of the embattled veteran, with just as many condemning him.

But, it has also raised the question of whether racial vilification is still alive and prevalent in professional football, and whether it is also an issue in amateur and grassroots sport across Australia as well.

For Orange Emus hooker Tom Goolagong, a prominent indigenous sportsman in the Orange community, the answer to the latter is no.

Well, he’s never experienced it personally anyway.

“Personally, I’ve never been racially vilified on a field anywhere, especially not in Orange,” Mr Goolagong said.

“But I certainly think casual racism is still an issue in our community as a whole.

“If it’s just a mate using a racial slur in jest or in good nature it can be easily dismissed, but it is still insulting and hurtful to anyone of any background.”

Goodes, a dual Brownlow medallist and former Australian of the Year, has polarised sporting communities in the past, and made no secret of challenging ‘white Australia’ in his bids to promote reconciliation.

Some argue the treatment of Goodes is not racially based but born from his behaviour often lacking class, citing alleged staging for free kicks and deliberate taunting of opposition teams and fans as examples.

The other side suggests not everyone booing is a racist, but rather the behaviour has racially biased undertones, suggesting the main incendiary is Goodes’ continued calling out of racism itself.

Mr Goolagong preferred not to weigh into the debate too heavily, but did say he thinks Goodes deserves better.

“After what he’s done for the AFL community, and the wider community, I think he does deserve better,” Mr Goolagong said.

“I can’t really comment on why people are [booing him], but he has shown a weakness to it which other teams and supporters will exploit no matter what the reasons behind it, I think.

“What I am sure of is that our nation’s history should be celebrated at every opportunity. Whether it be a pre-game war cry or dance, or post-goal or try celebration, it is a person celebrating their culture, and should never be frowned upon.

“It should be embraced by everyone, no matter their background.”

taken from http://www.centralwesterndaily.com.au/story/3244670/racism-not-in-goolagongs-playbook-ive-never-been-racially-vilified-on-a-field/?cs=104

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