Australia

AFL racism row: Goodes backed by #IstandwithAdam campaign

Adam Goodes of the Swans pushes other players at Domain Stadium on 26 July, 2015 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Adam Goodes has been booed and abused on the field by spectators

Social media users have been rallying around Aussie Rules footballer Adam Goodes, after he became embroiled in a racism row with fans.

Goodes, an Indigenous Australian, is regularly jeered and racially abused by spectators.

The #IstandwithAdam campaign was trending on Saturday, with actors like Cate Blanchett offering their support.

Some fans have defended the booing, claiming it is not racist, but simply a response to Goodes' performance.

Ms Blanchett and other high-profile figures, like actor Hugo Weaving and opposition leader Bill Shorten, have spoken out in support of the 35-year-old footballer.

They sent videos to Fairfax Media backing the #IstandwithAdam campaign.

Image copyright Instargam
Image caption Actors Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh backed Goodes

During games Goodes has faced derogatory slurs and even been told to "get back to the zoo".

Other Twitter users said the success of a native Australian should be celebrated rather than derided.

The Sydney Swans star has described the abuse as "shattering" and is taking time off from the sport.

Australian Rules football, or Aussie Rules, is played on an oval pitch, between two teams of 18 players.

Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter

The Australian Football League (AFL) Players' Association and team skippers released a statement on Friday expressing their distaste for the constant booing, especially during last Sunday's clash at Perth's Subiaco Oval.

"Enjoy the game, celebrate the success but don't boo, jeer or taunt players because of who they are or what they stand for," it said.

Goodes is a vocal advocate for indigenous issues and wants to see Aboriginal people recognised by the Australian constitution.

Media captionGoodes 'deserves respect not contempt'

Others, including cricketing legend Shane Warne, have defended fans' right to boo athletes.

"For me, I don't think that the stuff that they're doing to Adam Goodes is racist," he told Triple M radio station.

"It's their prerogative. Australia can have an opinion."

Separately, one of Australia's wealthiest and most influential businessmen, Crown chairman James Packer, said on Friday he was "ashamed" of the whole affair.

"He's a great Australian. He won Australian of the Year, I think he's an amazing role model," local media quoted Mr Packer as saying.

Image copyright Twitter

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