News I left the documentary about the former AFL star...

I left the documentary about the former AFL star Adam Goodes, an angry man


Former Sydney Swan star Adam Goodes was the target of fan abuse at the end of his career.


Former Sydney Swan star Adam Goodes was the target of fan abuse at the end of his career.

OPINION: Walk out of the state theater after the premiere of The last quarter, the documentary about the fuss that marred Adam Goodes' last seasons, I was angry.

I was angry with what happened to my former teammate and mentor, Adam Goodes. I was angry with the likes of Eddie McGuire, Sam Newman and Miranda Devine who set fire to casual racism in Australia. I was angry with the AFL because I didn't do it anymore. And I was angry with myself because I didn't recognize racism enough.

In the last three years of Adam's career, I wish I had done more. I heard the shouts. We all did that. It was ruthless and it was nauseous.

It was so persistent that it was clearly motivated by something other than what was happening on the field. But Adam was so brave about the bat that, although we would see him every day, it was hard to tell the emotional toll that it imposed on him.

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Adam is one of those guys that made you star when you enter a footy club. You suddenly realize that you are one of Adam Goodes's teammates. For me that was more impressive than a player from Swans. Boys like Adam, more than 300 game legends of the game, don't have to help the young players … but on the other hand, boys like Adam, incredible and compassionate leaders do.

During the preseason of 2013 I did one of my first touch sessions with Goodesy. There I was with zero games, no credits to my name, clumsy footys, and my inexperience, and there he was with two Brownlows, two premierships and a wealth of other achievements that gave me all the time in the world.

Sydney Morning Herald

Adam Goodes' mother says it is heartbreaking what happens to her son and asks fans to stop captivating.

One by one, he told me how I could improve my handball and patiently explain that it took time to master the exercises we did. He didn't have to do anything about it. The experienced players do not have to help early in the preseason. But he did it because that was the kind of man that Adam was. He just wanted to make sure everyone around him could get the best out of himself. And that is what this documentary will do.

There is an indisputable relationship between his outward pride as a native Australian and the hassle he received. Faced with that pride, too many people fought back to maintain the order that others place over others because of their race. Too much booing.

During the film, when Gil McLachlan, the director of AFL, was asked if the fuss was racist, I could tell from the look on his face that he wanted to say yes. He hesitated with his answer. He knew the answer, but in an act of diplomacy he resisted and gave an answer that didn't help.

Why are those who call racism, who call sexism, who call for change seen as candid. Why is diplomacy – often partial recognition with unclear words that make existing standards prevail – the acceptable response?

When I left the theater, yes, I was angry. But I realized that everyone who saw this movie would feel the same way. This anger against the past is the motivation we need to bring about change.

* Brandon Jack is a writer and former player of Sydney Swans


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