Why CPD Patron Fred Chaney cheers for Adam Goodes | 3 August 2015

CPD patron Fred Chaney has written in support of Adam Goodes. In the piece, which appears in The Canberra Times, Chaney writes of his admiration for the AFL player and Australian of the Year, and his disdain for racial abuse. Goodes, who often speaks out publicly on issues of race, has been consistently booed at matches this year by crowd members in what many consider to be racially-motivated actions.

‘By the time I actually met Adam Goodes, on January 25, 2014, I was already a fan. In the previous year I had sent him supportive messages when he ran into some heavy weather on race issues. I already regarded him as important in the campaign against racial discrimination and his appointment as Australian of the Year as significant and appropriate.’

‘As an old, white, Anglo-Celtic male who has led a relatively privileged life, I am the last person to know from direct personal experience what the experience of racism is like,’ writes Chaney. ‘But as I have been involved in Aboriginal and race issues over my lifetime, I have learned from others how incessant and debilitating it can be. And I loathe it.’

‘To destroy the sense of confidence and self-worth of any person is so clearly wrong.’

‘When Adam Goodes asserts his pride in his heritage, he cops racial abuse. When he steps outside the ideal of the compliant and and subservient black fellow, he cops it. We should be past that.’

‘We should admire his courage, think carefully when he reproaches us, celebrate his enormous talent, and be proud that such a big man is one of us.’

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