AFL COMMISSION chairman Richard Goyder says he "understands and respects" Adam Goodes' decision to decline induction into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.
Goyder, also chairman of the Hall of Fame selection committee, said Goodes, a two-time Brownlow medallist who retired in 2015 after 372 matches and having been subjected to sustained racist booing in his final two seasons, had asked the AFL to refrain from outlining his reasons for rejecting the honour.
The AFL had planned to announce the 2021 inductees at a function on June 22, but last week postponed both the naming of this year's intake and the event itself after Victoria was again placed in indefinite lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Adam had asked the AFL to wait before announcing his decision, which has now been made public separately," Goyder said.
"Adam was clear he did not want his decision to detract from the moment for the 2021 inductees.
"Adam remains a great champion and leader of our game who has given more to our sport than he received in return."
In its 2015 annual report, the AFL belatedly apologised for the treatment to which Goodes was subjected.
Goyder on Tuesday addressed the game's failure to adequately support one of its most special talents.
"The treatment of Adam in his final years at AFL level drove him from football," Goyder said.
"The AFL and our game did not do enough to stand with him at the time, and call it out.
"The unreserved apology that the game provided him in 2019 was too late, but on behalf of our commission and the AFL, I apologise unreservedly again for our failures during this period.
"Failure to call out racism and not standing up for Adam let down all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players, past and present.
"We hope that there will be a time in the future when Adam will want to be connected to the game again. This is a decision for Adam and Adam only and we understand and respect his choice."