“Why are they booing Goodsey, Dad?”

“Why are they booing Goodsey, Dad?”

I roll my eyes and head back in disbelief. “I don’t know, Son,” I reply astonishingly.

Everyone’s entitled to their view of Adam Goodes but I reckon I represent him pretty accurately: AFL great legend, Brownlow medallist, premiership player, highly decorated player of our game, amazing sportsman and athelete, current Australian of the Year, and above all in my book, principled human being.

Yet pockets of the crowd at Saturday night’s Hawthorn-Sydney blockbuster were blowing raspberries his way. Echoing my 11-year-old’s confused state I asked myself – why? He hadn’t caused any commotion; there was no antecedent scuffle to ensue any bitter fallout, nothing. He was just playing football and he was booed. In defence of the majority of the game’s 72,000-odd in attendance there was only a relatively small group of people heckling him. I can’t imagine them being Sydney supporters and for the life of me can’t recall an incident in his recent history to suggest that any Hawk’s fans are resentful of Goodes either. But some people there saw fit to give it to him.

Do they begrudge him as the incumbent Australian of the Year? Do they seek to knock him because he took a moral stance on our football stage? Or is it all good-natured pantomime?

My son’s a Victorian-based Swans supporter. We only get to Melbourne games and I’ve heard this kind of nonsense aimed at Goodes before. Is there anyone out there who can confirm that this sort of stuff goes on at other Swans matches? If it’s personally aimed at Goodes, my question is why?

About Glen Potter

Footy tragic since attending my first game in 1978. Love the Cats but will happily watch footy - anywhere, anytime. Played junior footy with David Schwarz and Peter Berbekov and between the three of us, we've played 225 AFL games. Love playing and coaching cricket and proudly mankaded a cheating non-striker one day many years ago.


  1. Jesse G. says

    My wife and I wondered the same thing as we watched over the internet here in the US. I wondered whether there was some Australian dialogue about Goodes and his various public stands over the years. Perhaps people just don’t like when athletes have opinions on topics that go beyond sports (unless they’re of the most anodyne a la “Breast cancer is bad” or “Kids should exercise” or similar). There is certainly an undercurrent of that in the US and if it exists in Australia that segment of the populace is sure to have been inflamed by his Australian of the Year award. I’ll be interested to see the responses as they roll in.

  2. Dave Goodwin says

    My 21 year old son asked me the same question at the game on Saturday night. My theory in response, for what it’s worth, was similar to Jesse’s – many people don’t like it when still-competing sportspersons become contributors to debates on social issues. It can come across as an effort to place themselves on a higher moral pedestal than others, when the essence of competitive sport is the level playing field. According to this view, social commentary should occur post-retirement. It may be a bit high falutin’ to attribute such overt thought processes to many of the punters in the crowd last weekend, but perhaps this kind of sentiment is at work at gut level. The other, equally plausible, explanation is poor eyesight. Goodes was being confused for Buddy Franklin. When play was at the Members end most of the boos directed at Goodes were coming from the Punt Road end. Both have double digit numbers and are a similar height. The Sydney supporters sitting behind us (in between trying to get a raucous Hawks barracker evicted from the members) complained all night about the ignorance of the Hawthorn masses not being able to differentiate between Goodesy and Buddy. Much to our amusement they themselves spent much of the second half mixing up Gibson and Burgoyne. Colour blindness. It cuts across boundaries.

  3. craig dodson says

    Interesting topic Glen. I’m a melbourne based swan myself and have watched games with Goodes in melb for years. To be honest after he won his first brownlow there has always been a section of the crowd that boos him (teachers pet mentality). My mates who are non swans tend to lay into him because they think he is a showboat type of player. Pure footy issues.

    All that being said I have definately noticed an increase in the boos he gets this year and I don’t doubt there is a percentage of fans who begrudge him the Australian of the year award. As a spectator you can sense it and it makes me feel pretty uneasy.

  4. Michael Viljoen says

    I also think Goodes is an out-and-out champ and legend, on and off the field. He will take an honourable if not unique place in the history of our game.

    However, the only thing I can imagine is that he may be getting criticism (not by me) for pointing out the 13 year old girl over the fence last year. Some may look at that as grandstanding or a big guy picking on a little girl.

    Yet the whole issue was pretty complex. Players of colour have the right, especially on the occasion of Indigenous Football Round, to object to being called apes (inferior life forms.) On the other hand, the girl in question may not have had that thought in her head at all.

    It all becomes over sensitive and confusing when we are actively teaching kids in school that mankind evolved. The current wisdom says that we all did evolve from lower life forms. So by implication, some must be inferior to others. The more this is taught, the more such comments will be coming over the fence from the mouths of our youth.

  5. DBalassone says

    Hawthorn fans used to gleefully boo Neville Bruns too, years after Lethal Leigh kinghit him, so I’m not surprised. A Hawthorn fan I know, claims Goodes is booed/heckled because he is the umpies pet – not because of the issues Goodes confronted last year.
    I think Essendon fans booed him too earlier on in the year, which was strange. I don’t understand it. It’s not a good look for our game – it’s a bloody embarrassment. I discussed it with a colleague at work recently, a corporate highflier who seemed to think it was justified – he ended up intimating that I was stupid for not understanding the booing.

  6. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    It doesn’t happen in Sydney, thank God!! I too wondered about it the other night and nod in the general direction of all the suggestions above.
    Really, in the O’Reilly, Row T, we don’t condone audible ‘booing’ of anyone. Anyone having a yip is usually pulled into line. We do however welcome more detailed, insightful and entertaining verbal analysis.

  7. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    Another thought … could they be saying ‘Goooodes’, in the same spirit as ‘Roooos?’

  8. Stainless says

    My judgement on this may be clouded by having recently visited the Deep South of the US and having learned a great deal about the deep-seated, vicious racial discrimination that resulted in African-Americans being subjected to a century of horrific treatment after the official abolition of slavery. Even several decades after the Civil Rights Movement succeeded in overturning the entrenched systems of segregation, I still sense in that part of the world a strong undercurrent of racism that is rarely spoken, but endures nonetheless.

    I sincerely hope I’m wrong but I cannot think that the booing of Goodes is ultimately motivated by anything other than racism. There finally seems to be a general tolerance of successful indigenous footballers if they stick to just that. It might even be OK for such a person to be an articulate principled champion for racial equality too, provided this is done in an non-provocative manner through sanctioned instiutions such as Indigenous Round.

    However, it seems it is not acceptable amongst certain sections of the community to do what Goodes did in raising the protest flag against specific, racially offensive comments. There’s a nasty element of “he should know his place” in such an attitude. It may have been exacerbated by the Australian of the Year award, which these people might see as somehow rewarding such behaviour.

    As I say, I hope I’m over-reacting but unfortunately I think the racist streak is not as deeply buried as we might think.

  9. Cat from the Country says

    I don’t particularly like Adam Goodes and I did wonder what he had done to be Australian of the Year!
    He is a sportsman, just doing his job.
    What else did he do to warrant the Award?

    Was Nicky Winmar made AotY when he made his famous statement?
    Could the booing be “Tall Poppy Syndrome”

  10. Rick Kane says

    Being booed is a badge of honour.

    Whoever was doing the booing wasn’t sitting high up to the right of the Punt Rd goals in the Southern Stand. And there was a lot of Hawks up there with us. We were too busy wondering what the hell was going on, such was the pace of the game, the naked eye could barely keep up.


  11. in the past year I have booed Jobe Watson (as the Essendon drugs representative) and Ty Vickery last Friday. There was some rational logic to both, but at core they were panto booing to relieve frustration at my own side.
    I have never heard Adam Goodes or any Swans player booed at Eagles games. They are respected foes.
    My feeling is that there is an undercurrent of “uppity blackfella with tickets on himself” resentment of Goodes among a vocal minority, since he took on more of the public spokesman role.
    I work with some young indigenous mental health support workers, and I see how hard it is for them to bridge the culture divide. With white clients they seem to feel some ‘inferiority complex’. With their own people the ‘superiority complex’ of not wanting to speak up about unacceptable or unhelpful behaviour creates problems.
    “Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith” territory, Damned if you do. Damned if you don’t. I always encourage them to speak up, no matter who they are with, so long as it comes from good intentions.
    Thanks for raising an important issue in our community Glen.

  12. Dave Brown says

    I’d say that he was getting booed because he is a champ. He was getting booed last year too, so the AotY award isn’t it.

    Let’s try out this logic: uber champion from another team is playing my team, therefore he must be arrogant and an umpires pet; if he demonstates the tiniest sense of entitlement (e.g. celebrating too much, appealing for frees, mouthing off at my players) I will read that as arrogance and will boo every time he gets the ball after that; if he gets a soft/non-existent free he is the umps’ pet and I will boo them and then him every time he gets the ball after that.

    Is that how it works perhaps?

  13. I’m rarely surprised at the depth of hatred and disrespect meted out to the Hawthorn Football Club and its supporters on this site. I enjoy it to an extent, from John Harms’ woefully inaccurate and utterly outdated caricature of ‘Thatcherite’ Hawthorn fans to this week’s fabulously-timed ‘bump’ of a 2012 Grand Final report after a Sydney loss to Hawthorn (I eagerly await the same treatment of 2008 Grand Final pieces when Geelong beats Hawthorn in a few weeks). We even got the ‘ugly footy fan’ piece this week, naturally enough it was a Hawthorn supporter that was the ‘ugly’ one, not for the first time within these cyber-walls. Mostly, I chuckle or ruefully shake my head at how much one club’s success, and the enjoyment that such success brings its supporters, upsets so many others. Rarely do I feel the need to respond – in fact, this will be my first comment to an Almanac piece.

    I comment here because I draw the line at the crass, thinly-veiled and unfounded accusations that this piece, and some of the responses, casts across all Hawthorn supporters that attended on Friday night. Be it because of Goodes’ stand on issues of race, or just because ‘all indigeneous men look alike so they probably think it’s Franklin’, the implications are clear – Hawthorn supporters, or at least large, vocal portions thereof, are racist.

    It is an accusation that Hawthorn (and, by extension, its supporters) has had to face up to in the past. Our record of recruiting indigenous players was woeful before the turn of the millenium, and the most obvious reason was institutional prejudice. It’s a stain on the club. However, through the recruitment of, amongst others, Chance Bateman, Mark Williams, Lance Franklin, Cyril Rioli, Shaun Burgoyne, Cameron Stokes, Brad Hill and Amos Frank, the club has actively sought to address this issue, to our obvious benefit, both on and off the field.

    I go to most Hawthorn games in Melbourne, and there is no ‘booing’ for other indigenous players. Lewis Jetta didn’t seem to be getting the same treatment as Adam Goodes or Lance Franklin on Saturday. So perhaps it was something else.

    Instead of crass generalisations and haughty profiling, if you had have asked any of the people – of which I was not one, incidentally – why Goodes was being booed on Saturday, it’s very likely you would have been referred to this incident – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyD_0gN1kC0 – occurring just over a year ago and still very fresh in Hawthorn supporters’ memories. Petty? Maybe. But entirely related to an injury Goodes inflicted on a Hawthorn player (one he was not penalised in any way for). As has been pointed out above, such booing was also going on during the game in question last year, before the Collingwood v Sydney game and before the Australian of the Year announcement. It has absolutely nothing to do with Goodes’ otherwise outstanding contribution to football and to Australian society, and absolutely nothing to do with indigenous players/people in general.

    Franklin, of course, was booed because he left the club in ‘unusual’ circumstances and Hawthorn got next to no compensation for his defection.

    The accusations of racism – direct and implied – are hurtful, imflammatory and wrong. I’m glad this piece was published, because it gives the opportunity for the issue to be discussed. But it’s entirely unfair to paint a club’s supporters in a very unflattering light, without addressing or even trying to understand the issues that directly relate to the player/fan relationship in this case.

    So, if we can answer the question that the piece asks, ‘why are they booing Goodsey, Dad?’, the answer is ‘because in a game here last year, Goodsey recklessly slid into Josh Gibson and was lucky not to break his opponent’s leg’.

  14. Skip of Skipton says

    I guess that as long as some remain more equal than others, some will be more boo-able than others.

  15. Rick Kane says

    Well said and articulated Mocca.

  16. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Personally the huge appeal of this site is that it is not frequented overall by illogical 1 eyed stupidity yes light hearted support and bias for your side but that is it . I have never heard it mentioned in footy circles of a incident between , Goodes and Gibson and having watched the you tube clip you provided surely , Mocca you can not be serious and think any 1 was booing for that ( I don’t barrack for either side )
    I think some of the comments above are far more accurate in that , Goodes has seemingly trodden on some toes by being so forthright in his views which some people can not accept

  17. Dr Goatboat says

    Surely Goodes is amore relevant choice than some others, including overweight cricketers or those who “play hard”. Australian of the year comes from across all walks of life, presumably someone that excels in a chosen field but also captures values which we hold to be central to our national character…Goodes ticks a lot of boxes…
    At the end of the days I go with the opinion that it is a not too deeply buried racism in certain elements of the football public. He should never have embarassed Big Ed by not grovelling to accept his “apology”…..

  18. Last week, Carlton supporters were booing North’s Brent Harvey.
    I was momentarily surprised. And they were not yelling “Booooooomer”.

  19. DBalassone says

    Mocca, are you seriously saying that you believe Goodes intentionally kneed Gibson in that incident? That was a natural collision of 2 blokes running at the ball at full pace. If you look at the angle they show a few seconds later on a replay, it’s pretty clear that it wasn’t Goodes intent to cause any damage.

  20. Andrew Else says


    That was an outstanding comment and I appreciate that you’re not saying that it’s right to boo Goodes about the Gibson incident. I think that incident, combined with the ‘teacher’s pet’ perception is where the Hawks boos were coming from.

    You also make a fair point about the anti-Hawthorn commentary on this site. I’d say that Essendon has surpassed it this year. I wish we had achieved that through jealousy of success but that’s another comment for another post. LIke you, I take it be a bit of a negative, but enjoy the bigger picture.

    Essendon fans were also accused of ‘latent racism’ but none other than Greg Baum for booing Goodes earlier this year. Like you, I was at the game and didn’t boo, but I took it to be for him receiving an incorrect free kick and 50 metre penalty. Again, the ‘protected player’ syndrome. I saw G Ablett being booed by North fans for exactly the same thing earlier this year after he had received some questionable frees.

    Good on you for sticking up for your club and for providing a reasonable (I believe) explanation

  21. The People's Elbow says

    Smokie, I booed Brent Harvey more than once and make absolutely no apology for it…

  22. Brad Carr says

    It’s interesting that a chunk of the population have apparently turned negative on Goodes in more recent times – my attitudes towards him have actually trended the other way.

    There was a period, about 2007-09, when I reckon he had the “soccer disease” of playing for frees. I can vividly remember him at a boundary thrown-in on the outer wing at Homebush lining up and running straight into the back of an opponent, and at the point of impact, turning himself round to face the umpire and throwing his arms out wide. It was Matty Lloyd staging crossed with Anil Kumble over-the-top appealling. Horrible stuff (it wasn’t even good acting), and we should never have to watch our star players succumbing to that rubbish. I still wouldn’t have booed him back then, but I wouldn’t have liked or respected him either.

    Fortunately, I reckon he’s done less of that nonsense in the last few seasons, and has got back to what he does best: going and winning the footy. I’m truly glad about this, because I also think he’s a great ambassador for not only indigenous people, but all Australians. He handled those incidents last year so tremendously well, and was a most worthy Australian of the Year – and it’s a lot easier to get behind him when his on-field persona is going after the ball, than if he was still doing that other rubbish.

  23. Glitzy Incognito says


    I’m not referring to your entire piece which relates to a topic I am not planning on discussing (because I don’t have anything to add what has already been contributed)

    but this line
    “We even got the ‘ugly footy fan’ piece”
    reminded me of a scrap of knowledge I have

    The MCG security and safety boffins have accumulated wisdom on the behaviours of different fan sets. They particularly rate one club as higher than the others re: damage and behaviour. It aint Collingwood.

    Not sure what it means – and the reasons can only be speculated. I have wondered whether it relates to generational demographics

    Would be great to get some hard data from the stadium operators – would anyone have access to some?

  24. craig dodson says

    Mocca – I assume you are referring to my piece this week on the father swearing in front of his child as the ‘ugly footy fan’ piece? The fact he was a Hawthorn fan didn’t come into my thinking when writing it. I would have written the piece even if it was a Swans fan. By and large I don’t think there is any distinction between sets of fans in terms of behaviour, that being said it would be interesting to see any reports from the stadiums.

  25. No crack intended at you, Craig, apologies if it read that way – my point was that there’s been a few pieces over the journey that focus on the ‘ugly fan’, to my biased eye, a disproportionate number relating to Hawthorn fans.

    There’s no doubt we have our share of idiots.

  26. craig dodson says

    No probs Mocca, no offence taken, just trying to clarify where I was coming from in case it was read the other way by anyone.

  27. Glen Potter says

    Enough! Please let me clear the air here!
    Further to Craig’s comment, my piece was not aimed squarely at ‘Hawthorn’ supporters. The booers could’ve been Swans fans (doubtful – I’ve never seen supporters boo their own – though I once gave it to David Mensch for obvious reasons). Could they have been neutral supporters? Possibly. Could they have been Hawthorn supporters? Possibly. I couldn’t give a rat’s toss-bag who they follow. The piece wasn’t to flush out Hawks fans or accuse them through inference. It was an observation and a question for discussion. The situation I found myself in was when my 11yo questioned why people would boo him. I found myself doing the same. It’s a great discussion point. If anything it’s flushed out emotionally-charged opinion due to cultural sensitivities – be it racial or the colours of one’s team (if they can be deemed cultural). My humble apologies if I’ve hit a nerve with those sensitive to their team getting a pasting.
    If the booers just happen to be Hawthorn supporters, I am in no way attacking them for their ‘Hawthorn-ness’. I couldn’t give a stuff. I’ve heard Goodes booed at an Essendon, Melbourne and Richmond matches in recent history. Now before I get the rhetoric from ‘Tiger Talk’, ‘Demon Discourse’ and god help us, ‘Bomber Blitz’, can we all be clear that it’s not aimed at slagging off Hawthorn!

  28. Joey Seaside says

    Those saying the booing of Goodes is not related to the tripping of Gibson are wrong, in my opinion. As a Hawks fan, I can say my view of Goodes dimmed in the light of this act. I am absolutely positive that this is the reason for the booing. Fans don’t forget as easily as you think. That it was a small pocket of Hawks fans only verifies this – they’re the ones who remember.

  29. Keiran Croker says

    Thanks for writing the article Glen and for generating such debate. I too was wondering the same, after hearing Goodesy booed at a number of games this year. I suspect the reasons may be varied and complex – some harmless, others less so. I find it distasteful.
    Mocca, I suspect that all Clubs have their fair share of dick head supporters, even the Swans! As a Swans supporter I have immense respect for the Hawthorn footy club and its players. I have many friends who are Hawks supporters. Congrats on a great win this week. I hope we play in the GF because I think we are the best two teams. If so I am sure that it will be a great game and either team will be a worthy winner.

  30. Keiran Croker says

    Regards the Goodes/Gibson incident what I saw was a poorly executed attempt by Goodes to shield Gibson from getting to the ball. I can’t see any intent to deliberately injure another player, just as I am sure that Lindsay Thomas’s intent was to win the ball, not break Gary Rohan’s leg.

  31. adam goodes lost a lot of respect from the football public after that 13 year old girl called him a ape,sure it was wrong but she was a uneducated teenager who made a genuine mistake,and the way she was treated after that by the security was bad,he made a mountain out of a mole hill,i cant wait until he has teenager kids,sometimes they do say the wrong things,im sure he has said something that he regrets,no one is perfect,he was my favourite player before that as he played for my sanfl team norwood,thats the reason why he got booed,

  32. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Andrew above I suspect that is the real reason he is being booed and that some people think he has got too big for his boots but none of us have the right to tell another individual what offends them that , Goodes was offended is his business and his right to complain . I think it is fantastic that spectators are pointing out people who are racial there is no spot for it in the game what’s so ever any more. . As a , Redleg fan unfortunately , Goodes never played for us don’t no who you are getting him mixed up with
    ( yet to find a hawks fan who thinks it has any thing to do with the supposed , Gibson incident )

  33. Michael Viljoen says

    Goodes was right to briefly hold up a game to bring attention to racist remarks coming at him from over the fence, especially on the AFL’s Indigenous Round. If not, then why bother having Indigenous Round? How the girl was subsequently treated was out of his hands.

    But why say the teenage girl is uneducated? She called Goodes an ape. Our current education system teaches all of our teenagers that we are a form of ape or some descendent thereof. And therefore by implication, some must be more advanced than others.

  34. Gregor Lewis says

    I was going to suggest the Goodes-Gibson incident as a possibility. I was neither specifically privy to the Hawkers vibe, nor am I as ‘agitated’ as Mocca above.

    But I do believe what Goodes did to Gibson was deliberate, cowardly and ‘cleverly’ calculated to cause ‘inadverdent’ injury.

    Lest we forget, Hawthorn were thrashing Sydney. Goodes hadn’t had a great season, still being underdone due to not having done a pre-season, as a result of having seriously injured his knee in the Grand Final 2012.

    And Gibson was about to beat him to the ball. As physically underdone as Goodes might have been, his Chessmaster™ mind was already planning ahead. Allowed him to do what he did AND largely get away with it, despite having priors.

    Lest we also forget, before the racial controversy, the Collingwood game was Goodes’ first 5-star performance of the season. A player as intelligent as Goodes, riding the high of rediscovering his best form deserved to be believed with unalloyed trust. On that particular night he could have easily revelled in his return to form.

    Instead he accepted the burden of education, instead of resting on his substantial playing laurels.

    I admire and commend him for that.

    Just like I revile and excoriate him for what he did to Josh Gibson and how he tried to disguise it.

    I can treat both situations on their merits, without being blinded by my allegiance, or swayed by any awards Goodes has been honoured with, or done honourable things in service to.

    As for boos, although I find the practice beneath contempt and as vapidly insipid as insinuating Evolutionary Theory in Education as THE ROOT CAUSE of all this …

    … I can recognise why those who see it as a paid-for right, and heard Josh Gibson hurling epithets and heated invective towards and about Goodes, as he hobbled around the Hawthorn bench area … I can recognise why those who witnessed Josh Gibson’s unequivocal lack of doubt as to Goodes’ intentions, might just have spread that around.

    And given the hothouse nature of the footy grapevine, it’s no wonder that it could grow roots deep enough in the telling, to elicit the unedifying MOB BOO that was indiscriminantly unleashed anytime Goodes went near the ball.

    I think we all agree that it was a vast minority that partook.

    I think we can all agree that not all of them had the same reason, or any reason at all, besides mob mentality.

    There are tribal aspects of footy culture well worth experiencing. Unlike many here, the BOO is one I can do without – whether I agree with or understand some reasons for it being unleashed.


  35. Michael

    You make a point as though we teach kids some races are less evolved than others. We, of course, don’t. Anyone who harbors a belief that some races are less evolved than others can not attribute their ignorance back to the Australian education system.
    To contend that they can is pure balderdash.

  36. Michael Viljoen says

    Hard Tag,
    While the root causes of racial antipathy per se are many, varied, and complex, racial violence towards Australian Aborigines did rise substantially and measurably in the wake of Darwinian teaching. The implication that some ‘races’ (e.g. Caucasian, Chinese, etc.) are more evolved that others was still explicitly taught in high school texts until the 1960s and perhaps beyond.

    Yet if mankind evolved as it is supposed, it is a corollary of this belief that we are still evolving. By implication, some must be advancing further than others. That the high school system no longer explicitly teaches that certain ‘races’ are more evolved than others is a creditable concession, as it is indeed balderdash.

  37. Those affecting to be miffed at AG ‘bullying’ a gormless, powerless 13 year old nobody must have really spat nails at his next stunt: ‘bullying’ a 40 year old club president with one of the half-dozen highest media profiles in the country.

    Booing Goodes is tiresome and moronic, just as booing Milne in his comeback game was tiresome and moronic and ‘baa’ would have been a more appropriate sound effect than ‘boo’. Which is not a call to make it ‘illegal’ or an attack on anybody’s free speech, but I can’t help wonder if noisy dickheads in the crowd isn’t becoming yet another reason not to turn up. The TV boys with the obvious vested interest must ne wondering the same thing ad they never need much excuse to zoom in on feral fans, such as those two cretins pounding the roof over Vickery’s head.

  38. Michael

    To quote you ” … was still explicitly taught in high school texts until the 1960s and perhaps beyond.”

    So I have you conceding that you were wrong and that kids aren’t CURRENTLY being taught that some races are more human than others. My work is done then.

  39. Rick N – I object to being called a cretin.

  40. Dave Brown says

    Worthwhile distinguishing between Darwinism and Social Darwinism too!

  41. that’s the problem with sport today,politics have been bought into it as well as money,why don’t we have a Caucasian round in afl,other races get there special afl round,we don’t get free subs in sport for playing like other races or free equipment to us,everyone should be treated equal but when other races get special treatment these topics can get quite heated

  42. Michael Viljoen says

    Hard Tag,
    I’m not conceding anything. What Darwin taught was hardly the equality of all people. Some form of neo-Darwinism is currently taught as standard, often without question. I’m glad you’re willing to look at Darwin more critically.

  43. Michael

    OK then. Please name which Australian school(s) teach that some races are more human than others? You contend that the problem lies in what are kids are being taught. PROVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  44. I agree with you hard tag,michael is most probably a labor greeny voter who does not live in the real world !!!!!

  45. Hey guys, try playing the ball and not the man. I don’t know Michael personally, but from what I have heard he is a hard working compassionate person doing challenging work with very disadvantaged people, because of Christian principles more than money. A long way from the “greeny not living in the real world” that you chose to slag and stereotype him with Andrew.
    He has some views on society and development that I don’t share, but overall I have always found his views argued articulately, passionately and fairly. Disagreement has never been grounds for derision on this site.

  46. Peter

    Michael is fair, you say? Oh really? Where I come from sophistry is an evil.

    Let’s look at his contention:

    He states that the problem stems from what’s being taught in the science class. That is absolute bullshit. Science teaches that all races are human. In no way can there be any confusion that it teaches there are degrees of humanity. Michaels use of sophistry to cloud that has been insidiously unfair.

    Further, calling someone from another race an ape is an ignorance that could not possibly be borne in a Science class. It is an ignorance borne from racism. If Michael had a skerrick of integrity he’d concede that in a heartbeat.

    As for his passion? OK, they guy is passionate, alright. Though, it’s a shame it’s misspent on fortifying the filthy lies that comfort him … isn’t it?

  47. Andrew

    As a labor voting greenie, I ask you this: stay off my side.

  48. Michael Viljoen says

    As Peter says, name calling doesn’t usually further a case or an argument. I sometimes see the label ‘sophist’ thrown out by people who are struggling a bit.

  49. Michael Viljoen says

    Hard Tag,
    You say science teaches that all races are human. Darwin taught that certain ‘races’ were further progressed than others. Are you saying that Darwin got it a bit wrong?

    Science education has offered us various things at various times. It’s a dynamic field. What is now being revealed by genuine science is that the notion of race is a misnomer, which is why I’ve always put it in inverted commas.

    There is only one race, the human race. Whereas what is taught in schools is the evolutionary tree, where all life is on a continuum; from fish to philosopher, bacterium to bacteriologist.

  50. Dave Brown says

    Michael, this should be beside the point to the borader thrust of this article, but I would strongly contest your representation of Darwin’s theory of evolution and how it would currently be taught in schools. While Darwin wrote about the concept of “civilised” and “savage” races (particularly in The Descent of Man), he was, like you, a monogenist – believed that there was just a single human species.

    His argument that the “savage” races would likely be wiped out by the “civilised” races was a cultural, not an evolutionary one. The two ideas were later conflated by social Darwinists and eugenicists but this bears no scientific relationship to the theory of evolution. Nothing that places different human races at different evolutionary points in a hierarchy would be taught in a science class. The concept of inferiority does not exist in evolution only the less adaptable to change.

    Do people still think this way? No doubt. Did that influence the girl to say what she said? Possibly. Does it have anything at all to do with the way Darwin and evolution are taught in science class in Australia today? Most definitely not.

  51. Wow, hasn’t this discussion strand gone a long way off the path from the original premise. Reading the latest strand I feel compelled to make a couple of points. So, here goes.
    Humans are a species, not a race. One species.

    Darwin didn’t set out to teach us anything. Darwin studied evolution. Not human evolution but evolution. In fact human evolution was a minor part of his greater study.

    However, religion and its power base cast a long shadow over the times and place Darwin lived in, including in the Academy. Therefore, religious dogma and its master, human ignorance, drove many wedges through a paper that proposed a (slightly) new way of trying to understand our past. Our past referring to the world and even the universe, not merely human’s past.

    The ideas proposed by Dawin’s paper, Origin of the Species, have been tested over the last two hundred years. His ideas on evolutionary adaptation are now considered the basis of life sciences. Not because he taught them but because they have been rigorously scientifically tested for two hundred years. Again, these are not ideas about human evolution but about life forms.

    Fossilized remains of primates, divergent from other mammals date back over 15 million years. The divergence to what is the origin of the human species (the increase in brain size) dates back over 1 million years ago. The human species ancestors, homo sapiens date back 300,000 years ago. We arrived (us, all of us, no matter what piece of dirt on what continent is under our feet), not fully formed but evolutionarily divergent enough to be recognized as a species some 200,000 years ago.

    Mr Viljoen, if you can produce a Science curriculum, sanctioned by an Australian state Education department that demonstrates human evolution in a manner that contends the “evolutionary tree” in as a simplistic a model as you keep inferring then put a link to it. Otherwise your points are merely rhetoric and I would add, sophistic. That’s fine to have that opinion but rather than repeat it, show evidence of your claim.

    Darwin posited a theory that is now pretty much universally accepted but it was not about human evolution. It was about the evolution of life forms. Humans are not many races or even one. They are a species. For further clarification on this incredibly interesting idea may I recommend Richard Dawkins, River out of Eden.

  52. You know, I thought I’d give your proposal a go, Michael. Notwithstanding that it’s ridiculous, but what the hey, let’s see how it plays.

    Anyway, so here goes: Let’s not teach evolution in a world where there’s evolution: a construct by Michael Viljoen

    Now right away I can see this: we have one less reason to call each other apes. We don’t teach Darwin’s theories, so there’s no concept called evolution and ignorant people can’t get themselves in a tangle over whether there’s races which are more apelike than others. Well, heck, that’s great. The world has got to be a better place if we have one less reason to call each other apes, doesn’t it? Undoubtedly, I venture. As for the other reasons, Michael? Well, I don’t see a gain my end. In my world I have every reason to call people apes. I mean you should see the company I keep. The people I dine out with eat like hyenas and chimps. Like, you should see them ripping into their food! Their animals!

    Anyway, so far so good, yes? We have one less reason to say a hurtful thing to each other. Even though, in my case it wouldn’t make a difference.

    Let’s now wind back the clock to the fateful day at the G. Adam Goodes is in the forward pocket and the teenage girl is on the cusp of calling him something nasty. The question is, will it be an ape? Hmm, I think not. It strikes me that she called Adam Goodes an ape because she was failed by her elders, not because she’d envisioned the way he might rip into a burger. Assuming I’m right, what might she say then? Hmm, would it be something else racist? Possibly. We’ve already established that she had targeted Adam Goodes indigenous characteristics as a basis to form her hurtful comment. Why would that be any different in your construct? Or maybe you’re suggesting that people might behave themselves better in a world where evolution wasn’t in the mix? I hope you’re not. We well know that people were just as racist before Science’s discovery as they are now. Indeed, I believe a strong case could be made that they were more racist. But let’s not get bogged down in one-upmanship and assume it’s always been there in the same proportions. That being our model, and that teaching evolution or not teaching evolution makes no difference to the behavior of a racist, might something else make a difference? Well, what about adding Creationism to the mix? If we’re not teaching evolution we logically fall back on teaching Creationism, don’t we? Hmm, I don’t see how that will make a difference, either? Telling kids that a God person-being-thing-it created us made no difference before, why would it make a difference now? All the same, let’s roll with it and think it through. Right, so we tell kids if you’re racist you’re gonna burn in hell for all eternity. Coz that’s this God person-being-thing-it’s thing, isn’t it? Spooking the wicked into behaving themselves. Sophisticated stuff, alright. Now if I was one of these kids, and we had the Bible in our Science class, and that that made it more relevant to my world in that it explained how I was created, I reckon I’d pour over it. I could see myself devouring it page after page, gospel after gospel, fable after fable as I sought out an explanation for my existence. I would then widen my eyes when I came across this:

    Deuteronomy chapter 7: God tells the Israelites that there are other ethnic groups living in the promised land. Does God tell them to live in peace and harmony with them, with everyone respecting each others’ differences? No he tells them “to smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them nor shew mercy unto them. Neither shalt thou make marriages with them.”

    Wow!!!!! This is the God person-being-thing-it that I’m told will have me burning in hell for all eternity if I’m racist and here he is telling his “chosen” people to smite out other races in their promised land. You know, Michael, I think I’d think, “Screw not being racist: it’s all there in the Bible.”

    So after all that, where does that leave us is in your construct? Well, we have a world where we have one less reason to call other people apes, but on the other hand we have every reason to be racist, coz it’s all there in the Bible. Hmmm, not really a gain is it? (And especially when deduct what we lose in our understanding of evolution. For wasn’t it pivotal in our understanding of viruses and the development of vaccines to counter each stage of their EVOLUTION.)

  53. Skip of Skipton says

    Hard Tag, why are you quoting the Judaic Torah? WTF has that got to do with the genesis (pun intended) of this argument?

    Because someone doesn’t ascribe to Darwinism, especially where humans are concerned, they must be an Old Testament lovin’ religious fundamentalist?

    How’s the shallow end of the pool?

  54. Hey Skip

    Did I not mention it was a Jewish school!! And oh, not calling it the Torah was a slip.

    Mate, they”re the same God anyway, aren’t they? You Christians, in your cherry picking way, most certainly edited the part out in one of your countless revisions over the ages.

    Also, don’t push me into quoting something equally repugnant. They’re so much to choose from in all religious texts.

  55. Skip

    The quote is in the King John Christian Bible as well. Isn’t that the preferred choice of non cherry-picking Christians!

    Also, it’s in the Hebrew Bible, so in both cases, you’ve made a assumption that I was just picking on moderate Christians.

  56. Skip of Skipton says

    Not sure they are the same ‘God’, Hard Tag. I don’t see a connection between Jesus’ teachings and the New Testament, and the Old Testament. Nor do I find anything I would consider repugnant in the New Testament or the teachings of Jesus. How the Old Testament has found itself part of the mainstream Christian Bible is a mystery to me.
    I would only consult it if I ran out of tally-ho papers.

    The English language King James bible has been around unchanged since 1610, so I’m not aware of the revision you talk of.

  57. Skip

    The objective of the illustration is not to pick on moderates. Moderates don’t make ludicrous claims like Michael. The objective is to illustrate how Michael’s proposal would make problems like racism even worse. In Michael’s construct we live in a world designed by fundamentalists. In that case we might very well go back to the King James edition, don’t you think?

  58. Skip of Skipton says

    I reckon Michael was wrong to drag supposed Darwinist teaching into the debate as a reason for the girl (unlikely in the extreme), or as an excuse for a swipe at Darwinism; but making the connection that Anti-Darwinist or Darwin skepticism = Bible thumping ignoramus who needs some Deuteronomy shouted at them is equally wrong.

    Atheists are half-right. The god they don’t believe in, the god of the religious fundie, doesn’t exist.

  59. gee this is getting way off the original topic and getting quite personal,you guys have lost me with your uni talk,i was only educated at a country high school,lets all get back to basics guys

  60. Michael Viljoen says

    You want to get back to basics. Here are some basics:

    Goodes objected to someone calling him an ape. Many people thought the ape taunt was racist.

    For the last century and a half, the promotion of an evolutionary history of mankind has led many to the suggestion that some people are ‘more evolved’ than others.
    Because evolution is presumed to be true, any ‘ape’ taunt directed at ‘people of colour’ is now open to being construed as ‘racist’.

    The display on human origins at the Australian Museum says that we are all apes.

    Certain evolutionary texts, presented to students as being ‘scientific’ are inherently racist.

    People boo Goodes for whatever reason they like (they paid their money to get in, they think, so why not?) In the herd mentality, they usually boo the oppositions’ best players.

  61. I agree,do you know that bobby skilton,s nickname was APE,true story he could not see a problem with that nickname

  62. Rocky Sprite says

    Goodes is a thug, stager and untouchable in the eyes of the AFL judiciary. He’s arrogant and a Swans player – the AFL’s darling club. He should never have been awarded Australian of the year. I say boo him as much as possible!

  63. I agree with you rocky,and if he had kept his mouth shut and not be so political he would be more respected

  64. Yeah, he should Know His Place, the ungrateful little slimebag. How dare he???!!!

  65. I vividly recall being at the MCG in 2005 and Adam Goodes taking control of the game in the 3rd quarter and costing my Eagles the flag. It was sheer force of talent, will and character. He seemed to me to often save his best for the 3Q when he knew the average players were starting to tire, and he could take control.
    I have seen him do it on several occasions and be the driving force in a close win for the Swans over my team.
    There is no player, person or human being in the AFL that I admire more than Adam Goodes. He chooses his moment and stands up with class, dignity and discretion for what is important to him and his people (be they team mates or indigenous people).
    Rocky and Andrew are entitled to their opinions (hope you were using irony, Rick N). I just don’t think there is any objective evidence to sustain them.

  66. Yeah well spotted Peter, hence the capitals.

    Unfortunately I couldn’t think of a 3 word phrase the same as ‘know his place’ with all three words starting with K.

    Anybody else noticed how ‘political’ in this context always refers to politics the writer doesn’t agree with?

  67. I agree he is a great player,but sometimes he needs to keep his mouth shut,he has been off side with a lot of players and officials over the last few years,maybe he,s becoming old and grumpy like some of the almanac,s,

  68. Michael Viljoen says

    In sciences classes today, kids are taught (putting it colloquially), it is

    ‘goo to you via the zoo’.

    To this farce, I say ‘boo’.

    (Likewise said Antony Flew.)

  69. Thanks MV. But it still puts Hawthorn clearly in the frame. Might be time to approach the Family Club for their explanation, eh?

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