Enough is Enough (yes, the Goodes saga)

Call me a racist, don’t care, call me an asshole, don’t care, call me a low life, don’t care.  But do not dare to call me someone who has the views of so-called journalists, so-called writers (on this site) who 99% of the time have something worth saying. Every single person that I know in Australia has the right to voice their opinion. Whether that be right or wrong in other eyes it is still a right. I believe every writer who has written about the “Goodes Saga”should take a chill pill.

Was I right to call Big Merv ( you would remember him Andrew), a big fat black bastard when he fell on me and nearly killed me (he was big), in the under 14’s.  No, probably not.  Was he right to call me a little white c**t when he hopped off me. I don’t know. Was he???  I grew up in a place called Ballarat. Well known for some of the best footballers to have ever played the game.  My best friend was Jeff Cunningham, (Joffa, St Kilda).  His father was one of the best junior coaches the football world has ever had. Their neighbours were the Muirs.  I remember Jack saying one day that young Robbie would be a champion, if he could control his temper.  Anyone who knows Robbie knows he never took a backward step. Happened to be talking to him recently and he was in awe of the aboriginal players and their skills.  Was also very vocal that he was proud to be aboriginal. My son Leigh (who committed suicide 5 years ago) used to call Robbie an aboriginal. Robbie laughed with him.

There are people, of all races, who have the ability to divide nations.  Hitler, Gandhi, Howard, Gillard, Malthouse, Watson, Fevola, The People’s Elbow, Peter B, Harms at times, Caro, Robbo all the time, Susie O’Brien, the Bolt man, Alan Jones, Ray Hadley, Tim Gilbert on the “Today Show” (if you do not know something Tim, shut up), Kochie, could put Eddie in here, but the strange thing is, I don’t mind Eddie. Done a lot for a club I hate.


Kind of got off the subject.  Point is, do you (whoever you might be), feel good by writing that everybody who has a go at Goodes is a racist.  If so, what does that make you?  You know, there are some brilliant people who write on the Almanac, but sometimes it makes me want to give it away because of the narrow minds that some have. And by the way, I don’t like Goodes. Like his family, just not him. So maybe I am a part-time racist.


If you notice, I didn’t give a reason for the booing, maybe because there are too many, or is there too few.


Go everyone, hit me with it.


  1. not going to the footy this week…turning it into a political rally.

  2. Grant Fraser says

    Going to the ‘G tomorrow night – I hear they play soccer there

  3. jan courtin says

    “Call me a racist, don’t care, call me an asshole, don’t care, call me a low life, don’t care”.

    You wrote it mate!

  4. jan, what he is saying is he doesn’t care for other people telling him what to think. Here’s the way it works…ABC/Q+A etc ruminate. Discussion is stifled. “Correctness” is established. Anonymous ballot elects Abbott.

  5. Hey Mick

    Perhaps they just boo for no particular reason, and then for some strange reason feel the desperate need to come out and tell everybody in elaborate terms why they boo.

    Methinks the morons doth protesteth too much,..

  6. Dave Nadel says

    They are not telling you what to think. They are trying to make you think. So is Adam Goodes and you (Mick Parkes) hate for him for it. There are few crimes as unforgivable as wilful ignorance.

  7. Dips O'Donnell says

    Balls for airing your views Mick. Hats off for that. The Almanac has always, and will always I hope, air the views of those who take up a pen. Isn’t that what makes it worth reading?

  8. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Well done,Mick I understand exactly where you are coming from and I concur with,Dips.Mark Ricciuto wrote a very balanced article in yesterday’s advvertiser( a better person than me can find it and put it on the site) where,Mark pointed out there are areas in which,Adam could have done things a lot better and they are good mates I hope,Adam in his time off things about this

  9. I was watching an ESPN documentary about Muhammad Ali’s greatest 10 fights, and it also touched on how much he was vilified for his mouthiness/arrogance; name change from Cassius Marcellus Clay; and refusal to accept being conscripted into the US military. Once largely treated as a pariah in the general US and Australian community in the 60’s and 70’s when I grew up. Now an icon and widely regarded as the greatest athlete of the 20th century.
    What changed? Ali? Or did society catch up to what he was trying to say and accept his underlying message? I would argue the latter.
    Hope the same thing happen in Australia and for Goodes.
    “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” – Martin Luther King.

  10. Bravo Peter B. I feel society will catch up before long and we will all venerate Goodes. I even see a major Hollywood film down the track with John Jarrett, Ben Mendleshon and Hugo Weaving all shoe ins to play villains McQuire, Bolt and Jones.

  11. Dips, Mick’s balls are dwarfed by his ignorance.

    Mick if you think you’re being ballsy you’re deluded. Having balls is putting your head above the parapet the way Goodes did. All you’ve done in this piece is make a confession that you’re unashamedly ignorant. I hope for your sake you do something about it one day.

  12. Hi Mick – like others I am glad we can air different views on this great platform the Almanac. There are probably many who boo Goodes for no real reason other than a lark and maybe they remember that one time he slid into someone or those one or two or three sneaky frees he played for. But what the constant and incessant booing has done is allow a lot of people who are racist to stand shoulder to shoulder with them and join in and have cover provided.

    There are many footballers that I could have said over the years I don’t like – so many, every team has them. But at the end of the day – what do I know about them – nothing. And at the end of the day is my dislike really that strong for them that I would try to stand up for people’s right to abuse them – not at all. If a player gets booed a few times because of things they have done – who cares. When it happens every single game for close to 2 years, this becomes an issue that we need to think about.

    If you have aboriginal friends, go ask them what they think. Seek there advice on perhaps how you should be thinking about this. Tell me one aboriginal person that has come out against Goodes – I really would like to know if any have. Read the piece written by Stan Grant in the Guardian for some background. Read the words of our own John Harms – people really need to think about this.

  13. kath presdee says

    I’d like to say that anyone who goes to boo Adam Goodes now is a bully.

    You can boo all you like, for whatever reason you like, but you’re doing it to someone who has said “enough is enough”.

    That’s not sportsmanship. It’s gamesmanship of the worst kind.

  14. Mick

    What Goodes is asking for is a debate on important matters that this country should face up to.

    One of those is freedom of speech and not stifling a debate for selfish reasons. (However, I don’t believe we go as far as George Brandis’s view.)

    However, if I support Goodes, which I do, and that we should debate this matter, we cannot stifle alternative opinions. So I disgaree with you, but want the Almanac to celebrate diversity of thought, which includes what you wrote above.

    I can’t call you a racist, I don’t know you and your views. You have an opinion I disgaree with, which is fine, there’s nothing wrong with that. Calling you a racist or arsehole means I jump to an opinion without having the facts, which is what many people are doing about Goodes himself, hence the worrying irony of many other commentators

    Careful reading of your piece I agree doesn’t say that people should boo, or that booing is Ok, and I respect that. I also don’t like the idea that this debate is of two sides only, you are either with him or against him.

    For mine, to state clearly, I have always said I find the bullying shameful and discraceful. However, I reserve the right to really struggle with the war dance. I don’t have a foot in both camps, there are numerous camps.

    So, I celebrate the Almanac and the forum that allows debate and differences of opinion. We can disagree but let’s not all simply agree on everything

    Bravely written, even if I am against most of it


  15. Sean

    We’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. Frankly I have no tolerance for people who cavalierly state ‘Call me a racist … don’t care.” If Mick is someone who is comfortable with that label, he’s someone who has nothing to offer on this site as far as I’m concerned.

  16. Mick, I agree…you did get off the subject a bit., the thought of Big Merv falling on top of you as a 14 yr old with Joffas dad coaching you in chilly Ballarat makes for a curious image upon ones mind.

    Then at the end you revise your point….about anyone who writes about racism, and the possible feelings of goodness that this may elicit….as above….is interesting.

    Unfortunately the R word, has become too dominant in this so called ‘saga’. I don’t think it is that simple. Is one racist? Is one not racist? I think the word is outdated, and somewhat ambiguous when used in this discussion (not yours, generally speaking). It polarise people to one of either two sides, and quite frankly, I agree, there is the possibility of a gleaned sense of supposed moral superiorship in declaring the case ‘against racism’ .

    To me the Goodes story is one that asks us , the community, to stop and think about things, our own stories and cultural heritage, in conjunction with that of our indigenous people, and to try to understand that which has taken place within the history of colonial migration and the impact it has had on generations of our fellow Australians.

    For too long, the story of our Australian history has been shrouded in a certain layer of quietude and, too often, silence. So for it (Australian/cultural/indigenous history) to be out there, put upon a platform, up for discussion and openly conversed upon, is good.

  17. Kate, agree that’s it’s constructive and beneficial to have all views on the platform. But I’ll puke if an unashamedly ignorant view is applauded as brave and ballsy. Mick’s view is simply brazenfaced, and considering that’s in defense of digging in over his dislike for Goodes, that’s nothing to lionize (and all the more so in that Mick states that he’d rather be called a racist than one of the so called writers on this site.)

  18. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Folks I and other regulars on the site thru conversations and emails have been disappointed with a lot of comments on the site regarding this saga.i thought it was ballsy to write this article,Mick and iRoos article in thursdays advertiser was correct,,IMO in that,Goodes could have done several things better and differently if he would acknowledge this it would help no end

  19. Alistair Watson says

    Malcolm Ashwood. Nadia Comenici must be envious.

  20. Malcolm, irrespective of whether Goodes could have done things better*, does he he deserve to be hounded and harassed by ugly mobs? That is the essence of what’s being argued. If you feel you can make a case that justifies the disgusting behavior of the booers – a behavior that shames us all as Australians – I’m sure I speak for everyone that we’d like to hear it.

    *I feel he has conducted himself admirably.

  21. T-Bone, 31/7 6.45pm, fair point made on me.


  22. Sean, 1/8 10:21, hugs mate, and on your comment, thought everything bar the brave endorsement meritorious.

  23. Malcolm Ashwood says

    T bone that is exactly the point every 1 is entitled to there own opinion that mine is different from yours and others on the site is fine as,Dips said that is the beauty of the Knackery lets all remember that

  24. No one is disputing that Malcolm. I’m disputing that Mick’s opinion is ballsy. You claim it is, and I reckon I’ve done a fair job illustrating that it isn’t. Indeed, I reckon I and other commentators have exposed it for being brazenly ignorant. And that’s putting it kindly.

  25. Malcolm, further on my “heroic” endeavors to preserve the worth of ballsyness. Mick hasn’t earned ballsy because he’s not being courageous. All he’s being is shameless – and in the most brazen way. And looking ahead, here’s how I see the oxford definition of ballsy in the very near future.

    Ballsy (n) : Adam Goodes

  26. Malcolm, further on my “heroic” endeavors to preserve the worth of ballsyness, Mick hasn’t earned ballsy because he’s not being courageous. All he’s being is shameless – and in the most brazen way. And looking ahead, here’s how I see the oxford definition of ballsy in the very near future.
    Ballsy (n) : Adam Goodes

  27. Mick – you have my respect. Not my agreement. I am sure we have all deep seated, half understood reasons for our beliefs on all sorts of matters.
    What matters is tolerance, respect and humility for the differences. That is the ONLY basis for progress and meaningful change in ALL areas of our lives and society.
    Accept the person without judgement. Judge the action, so we can all learn from it.
    Intolerance, indimidation, bullying and harassment is despicable and ultimately counter productive – whatever the intent. The ends does not justify the means.
    The redneck right just met the self righteous left in the passageway going in opposite directions in some of this discussion.

  28. Peter, yes, the redneck right just met the self righteous left in the passageway going in opposite directions in some of this discussion …. and …. we sorted out that Mick was not being ballsy.

  29. Dave Brown says

    Will try to stay respectful on this post. A few questions / comments in the finest Q&A traditions:

    1. Undoubtedly everyone is entitled to an opinion and unless there are specific laws covering the voicing of that opinion (e.g. holocaust denial, the specific racial vilification provisions of HR&EO legislation) they are entitled to express that opinion. But are they entitled to have that opinion respected? Are they entitled to have that opinion given equal weight?

    2. When did this become about picking over Adam Goodes’s behaviour with a fine tooth comb in an attempt to find fault? On what basis do white middle aged men feel it s their role to sit in judgement on someone so dramatically more accomplished than themselves?

    3. What role does discretion play in this discussion? If your voiced opinion abets the less pure of motive, have you considered the benefits to the debate of not publically voicing it? Are you comfortable with your bedfellows because you feel this debate is about whether another human being is perfect or not?

    A bit of push polling there but, in conclusion, unless you express a racist view I will not call you racist. But because you are not racist and do not like Adam Goodes does not mean that this issue is not about racism and it most certainly is not about you. The two concepts are not mutually exclusive. So by all means have and express an opinion but just because it is about Adam Goodes don’t assume your opinion is relevant to the core of this debate.

  30. I think Saint66 has used a stylistic device here to show how little respect he has for some journalists and writers, and for some of the arguments they make.

    I think he makes a good point when he says we are all entitled to an opinion. And I think he is right to point out the danger of creeping orthodoxy on the Almanac site – when that orthodoxy is not subjected to standard critique.

    I hope, though, that our writers and readers will argue the case for their position. Or should I say, actually the other way around, that we would think through the issue critically before forming our individual positions.

    When someone presents a view it should go without saying that is far better to argue rationally, reasonably, and respectfully in agreement, or in opposition to it.

    The concept of angels on one side, and ignoramuses on the other side, is just not what this site is about. Finger pointing and name calling (which often come in an aggressive tone and have a hint of nastiness about them) are discouraged, and do not help build authority on matters. I have to watch my own tendency to do that.

    Also, re Mick’s piece, disliking someone, does not mean anyone is a racist. However, if people treat someone differently on the basis of an element of their personal identity (race/ethnicity, gender, sexual preference and so on) or if they make assumptions about someone on the basis of their identity then that warrants critique.

    Further complication comes when we are not exposed to the range of voices necessary to form a balanced view. The absence of understanding (and the anti-intellectualism which contributes to it) of which I have written elsewhere is a problem in all communities. Many people hold the view that things are just like they are because “that’s the way it is” or “that’s just the natural way”. Hence some commonly held views survive merely because they are commonly held – and are easily exploited. As an example, I reckon if you did a survey of an MCG crowd about the relative merit of societies my guess is you would find that most would regard the capitalist-industrial-materialist society which has emerged out of Europe as ‘advanced’ and the traditional communities of indigenes throughout the conquered world as inferior to them. Not too many people have spent time trying to understand the complexities of indigenous cultures. People measure against their own experience – which is often placed at the pinnacle.

    Some might consider me mischievous to have chosen those examples in establishing my point about critical thinking. It’s not intended to be pointed.

    So what I am asking for on the Almanac site is respect for views, while offering the freedom to argue respectfully and rationally.

    There are many things in this issue which are a matter for individuals. I cannot claim to understand someone’s position and motive unless they express it and explain it. When they do I am free to agree/challenge appropriately.

  31. We’ve been through all this before – so I guess we have to go through it again. Every generation does apparently. I will judge you by who you stand with. If you stand with the bullies, I will judge you. If you stand with the racists, I will judge you. Of course. And then there’s that imaginary spear that seems to send some people into a frenzy. Doesn’t mind a bit of casual racist – no offence mate, just kidding mate, you don’t mind do you mate ? They didn’t mind did they ? – but sickened by that imaginary spear.

  32. John, you’ve afforded Mick’s work the same sophistication as the White House did Chauncey Gardiner in ‘Being There.’ Personally, I don’t read him that way. But, yes, agree … let’s all be nice to each other. Lest this site regress into BigFooty.

  33. Rick Kane says

    http://m.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/why-some-fans-are-challenged-by-goodes-20140521-zrkd7.html – this article by Jake Niall from last year is of value to what we are trying to understand.

  34. Steve Hodder says

    The referencing of Shelby Steele by Jake Niall shows how much of a struggle this debate (I think that is what it is for most) has become. Steele, a conservative warrior and academic has some odd views on race; not the least being that Palestinians are driven, not by a desire for territorial rights and justice, but by a sense of self-loathing and inferiority. ( good Manners and Anti-Semitism. 29th Sept, 2010 on the Hoover Institution website). Given the context of our own racial maelstrom, I wouldn’t be quoting Steele about anything, even if the “bargainer/challenger paradigm seems apt, at first.

    I reckon almanacer Peter.B summed it up succinctly on on another post ” unfocused, inarticulate and gutteral”. There seems to be a lot of pain and anger out there.

    If nothing else, this whole sorry saga ( me I’m at fault as any other too) shows how poorly equiped and unready we are for a fairdinkum discussion about non-indigenous racism towards the indigenous mobs of Australia. We just couldn’t hack it at the moment.


  35. I clearly have a completely different view to Saint66 but it doesn’t rankle to read his view the way it would if it we’re expressed by Bolt, Jones et al. Why? Because I’m guessing Saint66 tries his best to be honest and represents only himself in this discussion and that takes a lot of courage. Unlike those vicious professional haters who claim to represent those who have no voice (they wouldn’t actually be caught dead being seen with them) but are only in it for themselves and their entrenched interests.
    A person’s values and beliefs shape their view of the world and are incredibly difficult to change. We should avoid personal insults as a tactic to change a person’s view. It never works. But have the courage to call out cowards like Bolt and Jones who have no interest in seeing a fair and just society.

  36. Joe, you know, the value of courage and ballsyness have taken a hammering in this thread. Shit, if they were stocks I’d be yelling SELL, SELL, SELL.!

    Now is the Almanac such a hostile, daunting place that you’re risking persecution to express an opinion? Of course it’s not.

    As we’ve all experienced, the Almanac is a respectful community and I’m confident that anyone bar Holocaust deniers would feel comfortable expressing themselves here.

    On Mick, I point to his last sentence. He states, “Go everyone. Hit me with it.” Does that sound like someone who is fearing contempt, disdain, mockery, hostility. No, it sounds like someone saying, ‘Bring it on,” I can handle whatever you throw at me, coz I know at the very worst it’ll only be contempt, disdain and mockery; it won’t be threats, ostracism and persecution.

    Is that courage?

    Further, Mick’s opens with one of the most repugnantly uncourageous expressions I’ve encountered. To paraphrase him, he’s says “Call me a racist; I don’t care … just don’t call me someone who thinks like the so called writers on this site.”

    Does it take courage to insult the writers who stand by Goodes, and at the same time, contextualize that insult with an extreme stance that they’d rather be labeled a racist?

    Mick goes on to make his position clear in the next few sentences and it’s basically, ‘Even if I’m wrong, I don’t care. I just want to think what I think.”

    Is it being courageous to confess that you’d rather be ignorant than right?

    For me, Mick’s so called courage can’t be found in his words; all we find there is shamelessness and perversity … and that’s nothing to lionize.

  37. Gents,
    I’ve read what’s been posted and must express my profound disappointment with the quality and bent of many of them. I don’t care whether many of the contributors disagree with Goodes’ conduct off the field or admire him for the way he expresses his views as I do, the fact is, booing him for expressing opinions he holds dear whilst he’s trying to ply his trade as a footballer is just totally unacceptable.
    Unless a player commits an offence on the field such as a cowardly hit on an opponent when he’s not expecting it then mass booing of a player is the ultimate in disrespect for that player. You can hold whatever views you like on a player’s beliefs, be they political, social or moral but have that debate off the field, not on it.
    This current campaign of vilification of Adam Goodes is the most disgusting and cowardly I have ever seen since I started attending VFL/ AFL matches in 1959. I’ve seen brief taunts directed towards a certain Carlton player who spent a stint in Pentridge for stealing money from his employer but they soon died out, I’ve heard the taunts towards a recent St Kilda player who was charged with rape but again, they were limited and soon died out. Neither of those players suffered the sustained and virilent abuse which has been meted out to Goodesy yet what they had done was far more serious than expressing a view on the treatment of indigenous people in Australia,.
    Whilst I am saddened and appalled by the booing of this man, I am even more profoundly disappointed with the lack of support afforded Goodes by those charged with the ‘keeping of the code’ as their charter states. The AFL CEO’s recent pusillanimous statement was just that, lacking in heart and conviction when he should have left those who boo Goodes in no doubt that we don’t want them at our game if that’s the way they want to treat a fine servant of the code.
    The even more pathetic statement from the Chairman exposed the ‘keepers of the code’ for the men of straw that they are, they demonstrated a total lack of leadership at a time when we really needed some, that to me is the saddest comment on this sad affair.

  38. jan courtin says

    Hi Tadge
    I wholeheartedly agree with every word you’ve written.
    However, I have a little problem with just one of them: your opening word “Gents”.

    Although half the crowds at footy games are women, for whatever reason we tend not to contribute to footy debates. Maybe we find them a bit boring; maybe we find them a bit heavy-handed; maybe we find them too male dominated. Who knows.

    But in the above comments, three of the “Gents” are women!

  39. Comrade Jan,
    I gulped as I wrote the intro and am suitably chastened by your riposte, that was an error I will never make again. On a serious note, I believe that the involvement of both sexes is one our game’s great strengths.

    I also suspect that the clear majority of Adam Goodes’ detractors are males who as you know, are more easily led, particularly when it comes to negative behaviour.

  40. jan courtin says

    Thank you Brother-in-arms Tadge! Appreciated.

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