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Stop 'bullying and dehumanising' players: McGuire

Adam Goodes of the Swans in action during the 2014 Toyota AFL Grand Final match between the Sydney Swans and the Hawthorn Hawks at the MCG, Melbourne on September 27, 2014. (Photo: Sean Garnsworthy/AFL Media)
Adam Goodes has 'been booed out of the game', Eddie McGuire says


COLLINGWOOD president Eddie McGuire has pleaded with fans to stop "bullying and dehumanising" players, in the wake of the Adam Goodes booing controversy.
 
Speaking at a function before the Magpies faced Melbourne at the MCG on Saturday, McGuire described Swans great Goodes' decision to withdraw from football this round as "a tragedy".
 
Goodes is believed to be considering retirement after being subjected to jeering on a weekly basis.
 
"I've been really disturbed about everything that's happened this week because I believe football brings so many people together," McGuire said.
 
"Let's not dehumanise people. This is the game of football. This is what humanises people. This is what exalts people like (AFL Legend) Ron Barassi so that with his legacy he becomes a giant in our community that we can learn from.
 
"Adam Goodes is (also) that person. You don't have to agree necessarily with everything Adam Goodes says or does … but that's why we celebrate Anzac Day, so he's allowed to do that
 
"We have to get past this situation of bullying and dehumanising people.
 
"The fact that (Goodes) he isn't able to play football today is a shame.
 
"People say, 'Is he thin-skinned because he gets booed now and again?' When you are in that situation you live it 24-7 … It takes a chip out every time because every time someone asks you, 'How are you feeling?' you're re-living (it).
 
McGuire urged the AFL industry to "take a deep breath" over the issue.
 
"That Adam Goodes has been booed out of the game is a tragedy," he said.
 
"Hopefully Adam's able to come back against the Cats next week, then hopefully the week after when we go up to Sydney we can stand as one and live the symbolism of our black and white stripes.
 
"Adam Goodes has come from a really harsh background … and he's won. He won because he's good. That's what Australia stands for … So let's celebrate (him).
 
"So I put it out to all Collingwood members, supporters and brethren, that that's the way Collingwood wants to look at people. We want to celebrate champions. We want to beat them … but we want to celebrate them."