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Adam Goodes media conference

May 25, 2013 12:57 PM

Adam Goodes media conference Adam Goodes speaks to the media on Saturday morning
Here is some of what Adam Goodes said to the media on Saturday morning following his vilification by a young girl at the MCG on Friday night

"I'm pretty gutted to be honest. The win, the first in 13 years, to win by 47 points against Collingwood, to play such a pivotal role just sort of means nothing.

"To come to the boundary line and hear a 13-year-old girl call me an 'ape', and it's not the first time on a footy field that I've been referred to as a 'monkey' or an 'ape', it was shattering.

"I turned around and I saw it was a young girl, and I thought she was 14, that was my initial thought. I was just like 'really?' How could that happen? This week is a celebration of our people and our culture. I had the absolute privilege of meeting the great man Nicky Winmar two days ago now, and what he was able to do for us 20 years ago. To be able to make a stand myself and say 'racism has a face' last night, and it was a 13-year-old girl."

"It's not her fault. She's 13, she's still so innocent. I don't put any blame on her. Unfortunately it's what she hears, in the environment she's grown up in that has made her think that it's ok to call people names."

"I can guarantee you right now she would have no idea how it makes anyone feel by calling them an 'ape'. I think it was just the name calling that she was doing, and unfortunately it cut me deep, and it affected me so much that I couldn't even be on the ground last night to celebrate a victory, to celebrate Indigenous round. I'm still shattered, personally, it's tough. I'm loving the support of my friends and family, and people in the social media, it's fantastic, but I think the person who needs the most support right now is the little girl. People need to get around her. She's 13. She's uneducated. If she wants to pick up the phone and call me and apologise I'll take that phone call, and I'll have a conversation with that girl about, 'you know what, you called me a name, and this is how it made me feel'. And it's school stuff."

"It is school stuff and that's what it took me back to last night. I felt like I was in high school again being bullied, being called all these names because of my appearance. I didn't stand up for myself in high school. I'm a lot more confident, I'm a lot more proud about who I am and my culture, and I decided to stand up last night, and I'll continue to stand up because racism has no place in our industry. It has no place in society. Hopefully any person out there who has been name-called, has been verbally abused can stand up for themselves after seeing what happened last night."

"I don't know if it's the lowest point in my career, but personally, I don't think I've been more hurt by someone calling me a name than I was last night. Not because of what was said, but because where it came from: a 13-year-old girl. It just hit me that it's not a Collingwood issue, it's not an AFL issue, it's a society issue. It's an issue of what are our parents teaching our kids?"


Adam Goodes dominated against Collingwood before his night was ruined by a racial slur. Picture: AFL Media

"My mum taught me to treat people the way I wanted to be treated. After being verbally abused as a child growing up, I never want anyone to feel what it's like to be abused, verbally, about your race, about being black, about your appearance. Hopefully today, people hearing this message, they can understand that it's unacceptable, and it hurts. It doesn't just hurt me. It hurts my brother, it hurts my mum, it hurts my family, it hurts my non-indigenous friends. They're embarrassed. They're apologising. I said, 'don't apologise, it's got nothing to do with you'. They're embarrassed that it still happens and we're not educating our children, we're not educating people enough about how it is hurtful."

"I hope me standing here telling people how it's affecting me helps people out there. Helps people who have done it in the past to know that a simple name, a simple word, can cut so deep. It happens everywhere. It happens in the school yard, it happens at sporting events, it happens playing sport. People need to know it's hurtful."

"I've had fantastic support over the past 24 hours, and like I said, I just hope that people give the 13 year old girl the same sort of support because she needs it, her family needs it, and the people around them need it. It's not a witch-hunt, I don't want people to go after this young girl. We've just got to help educate society better so it doesn't happen again."

Goodes posted this tweet on Saturday afternoon