I’d never heard of Adam Goodes. Let me put this into context he plays Australian Football League. A sport I don’t know the rules, or follow the game. The easy part is telling who Adam Goodes was, by making a comparison with David Beckham. He was the David Beckham of Aussie Rules Football. He almost single-handedly won his Sydney Swans club grand final after grand final and was voted the best of the batch of first picks divvied up between teams in 2003, the most valuable player twice in 2005 and 2006. He was also voted Australian of the Year 2014. The documentary follows him from 2013 to 2015, when Goode declared, ‘I was done’ and retired from the sport – he once loved.
He was also ‘a black bastard,’ ‘a nigger,’ ‘a coon’ and ‘an ape’. The latter remark came from a thirteen-year-old girl during an Aussie Rules match. Goode went back to where she was sitting, pointed her out and had her thrown out of the stadium by stewards. Afterwards every touch he took of the ball was booed by opposition fans. He was told to toughen up, called a bully.
Goodes called out the inherent racism in Australian society. He called into question a society that celebrated Captain Cook’s arrival at Botany Bay over 300 years ago, to claim a county for Britain, with the semi-legal term, Terra Nullius, Latin for ‘empty land’. Aboriginal natives who had lived there for over 60 000 years and whose majesty was in their claim that they didn’t own the land, but the land owned them, were classified as part of the indigenous flora and fauna. Genocide took place as it did in the Americas.
Aboriginal people weren’t real people, because they weren’t white people. Fill in all the usual tropes about them not being able to take care of themselves. The white man’s burden to discipline and re-educate, then after genocide you have the eugenics programme which is still running. Adam Goodes father was a white man from Scotland, but his mother was aboriginal and taken away from her own mother and locked up to learn how to become assimilated as a proper Australian by living in a dormitory, re-educated, and trained to work as a domestic for white women. China is now doing something similar with around three million Uighurs in XianJiang re-education camps. But this is Australia land of the free and easy. Dream on.