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Australian football chief urges fans to stop booing Aboriginal players

来源: Xinhua 作者: Matt Walsh 2015-07-27 16:45:33

  Australian football chief Gillon McLachlan threw his support behind Aboriginal players Adam Goodes and Lewis Jetta on Monday after the Sydney Swans pair were the subject of crowd abuse at the weekend.

  McLachlan said that "enough is enough" after the Aboriginal pair were booed by West Coast Eagles supporters while playing for Sydney at Perth's Domain Stadium on Sunday.

  Jetta imitated throwing a spear at West Coast fans in a war dance of support for Goodes, who was jeered every time he touched the ball. Goodes had controversially performed a similar dance to pay respect to his heritage earlier this year in a match during the league's Indigenous Round.

  Goodes, a two-time winner of the AFL's Most Valuable Player award and the 2014 Australian of the Year, has been consistently booed by opposition fans this season, starting with a match against Hawthorn in May.

  Several senior media figures and former players have described the crowd behavior as racially-motivated.

  McLachlan told 3AW radio on Monday he had no issue with the war dance, instead taking aim at the band of West Coast supporters who incessantly booed Goodes.

  He stopped short of labeling the crowd's reaction to Goodes as racist, but he did say it needs to stop.

  "I think there are lots of different attributes as to why (the booing) started and now I think it's sheep-like behavior and I don't even think people know why they're doing it now," he said on Monday.

  "I would encourage people to think about why they're doing it and have a think about the individual because I think it's time to stop.

  "We have to cut through the noise ... (Jetta's dance) was about a statement to support Adam.

  "I believe, and our industry believes, there was not anything threatening in the celebration."

  Meanwhile former Brisbane Lions captain Jonathan Brown didn't hold back in labeling the booing as racially-motivated. He said it was "bordering on the edge of ridiculous".

  "It's obviously got some racial connotations to it, we've got our head in the sand and we don't think it does," Brown told Nova FM in Melbourne on Monday.

  "He has promoted his cause for reconciliation, but there is a minority of the crowd that want to do it for racial reasons, others because they go for the opposite team, and others have just followed the leader."

  Goodes described the constant negativity he endures on-field as "frustrating", telling the Sydney Swans' website that he would prefer to be remembered as the champion of the game he is instead of a divisive, hated figure.

  "It's just a continual battle at the moment, it's frustrating, just to have all that bad energy targeted towards me, it's just disappointing," Goodes said.

  "I'm coming towards the end of my career and if I leave the game this year and that's the aftermath to what's happened at the end of my career I'd be really disappointed with that.

  The booing of Goodes had subsided in recent weeks but West Coast's notoriously parochial crowd drew the issue back into the spotlight on Monday.


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