Mob Mentality

This is not just racism. It’s something even worse. The treatment of Adam Goodes has now become a sign of mob mentality taking over.

Whether each and every person that boos Goodes is a racist or not, there is no disputing the fact that the original intent of booing Goodes was inherently racist. Now we’ve come to a point where it’s just “the thing to do.” You attend a Sydney game as an opposition supporter, you boo Adam Goodes.

So, you yourself may not be racist in your day to day life. You may appreciate the mark that Indigenous people have left on our game. Cyril Rioli may be your favourite player. You may enjoy the pre game festivities of Dreamtime at the G. This may all be true of you, but this does not allow you to boo or abuse Adam Goodes and not be called out as racist.

This is not a situation where your good deeds give you leeway to commit bad deeds. If you behave in a way that you wouldn’t normally just because everyone else is, you are just like everyone else. You are like the person that first booed Adam Goodes because he is proud of his heritage and not afraid to say it.

Adam Goodes was Australian of the Year because of the huge amount of work he does for his community. He is a leader. Those who boo him are followers. Which would you prefer to be?

To those who say that he is booed because of his on field antics, that he is a dirty player, I ask this: why has he not been abused incessantly for his whole career? Why is it that it has only happened since his Australian of the Year award and his calling out the young lady for abuse at the MCG?

To those who say they can’t be racist because they have Aboriginal players in their own team, I ask this: would you be as welcoming of those players if they were as outspoken as Adam Goodes? Part of me thinks those players are more greatly appreciated because they behave as though they know their place as black men. To be seen and not heard.

Nothing anyone says can convince me that the treatment of Goodes is anything other than racially motivated. Not only that, it has given people that know better than to abuse someone because of the colour of their skin an excuse to show their true feelings. Truly, the mob has spoken and what they have to say is ugly indeed.

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  1. Grant Fraser says

    Josh have you spoken to people who boo Goodes to ascertain their motivation? Without such research how can you possible assert “there is no disputing the fact that the original intent of booing Goodes was inherently racist.” You point to the timing of events and emergence of the booing as proof of your theory – QED. Not sure it works that way.

    My views on this subject are well known from posts earlier this year. In my view promulgating the “racist” position without foundation (if that be the case) says more about the world view of the promulgator. If we are uncertain of the motivation of those who transgress, then how can a strategy to successfully eradicate it (other than “don’t do it because I tell you to”) be found? Let me say again I think the booing is similar to the Mexican wave*….a total waste of time and pointless source of amusement for the masses.

    You have said no-one can change your mind. I hope you at least reflect on my comments.

    *Not to be seen as denigrating Mexicans – I love a good taco.

  2. Mate, good to read. I have listened to the excuse of those who say i’m not a a racist, blah, bah blah. It all comes down to a proud indigenous man who wants to be a role model and spokes person for his race . I listened to the callers who rang the ABC , coming out with i’m not a racist but, he shouldn’t be offended by being called an ape,and the war dance was provocative thus he deserves the booing.

    An ugly part of White Australia is on display, and we need to cal it for what it is. I’ve said before it’s not too disimillar to the vitriol which Muhammed Ali faced in the 1960’s, the challenge posed by a black fellow who won’t stay in his place.

    It was great to see Lewis Jetta take the stand he did. Ditto Jordan Lewis. Let’s hope more of the footballing community take a public stand against this racially inspired boorish behaviour. Always remember, White Australia has a black history.


  3. I subscribe to your view Josh. I often ask people why they did something. I then suggest that’s an explanation, but try to give them a broader context so they can maybe see the underlying reasons in a broader context.
    I don’t think we can ever change any else’s mind. Just give them a broader context, and hope that in time they can assimilate it and change their actions.

  4. Dave Brown says

    Well said, Josh.

    While I get your point, Grant, I don’t think we can really test it – it relies upon the idea that the stated reasons are driving the behaviour. I’m not so sure that’s true in many cases. The question I come back to is: would an Anglo-Saxon footballer who behaved the same way Goodes does be subjected to the same abuse? I think the answer is no. If it is then suggested that an Anglo-Saxon footballer could not be in the same position, which I believe is also true, then by hook or by crook we are talking about race. If people are booing because they object to being told to stop there are endless analogies you could make to suggest it’s still not a very bright idea.

    We have reached the point now where our freedoms to barrack in certain ways will be compromised by the ongoing mindlessness of this activity, rather than reinforcing it, because it sure is hard to tell the difference.

  5. If Devine and Bolt are using this theme to promote their divisive agendas, then it is clearly shameful. Hey but so was the 1975 dismissal. So Adam is advised to take a rest – win for Bolt. The more things change ..

  6. Well said Josh.

    And may I say congratulations to the West Coast Eagles Football Club and players for the way they responded to the shameful actions of some of their supporters.

  7. Grant – thank you for your articulate argument. Your reference to a Mexican wave actually helps illustrate my point, though. I wish I had be used that metaphor myself. This behaviour is like a wave because people do it without really knowing why they do it. The difference is that a wave is mostly harmless while the behaviour towards Goodes is hateful and hurtful, and ultimately dangerous when a mob is involved.

  8. Grant Fraser says

    My pleasure Josh. It is clearly hurtful to Goodes, who deserves respect for his achievements as a footballer and as an Australian. I don’t particularly like him as a footballer, but I sure as hell don’t boo him – prefer to direct that at his mate Judas in #23 (wink).

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