Abused Goodes gets apology from girl
“To come to the boundary line and to hear a 13-year-old girl call me an ape, and it’s not the first time on the footy field I’ve been referred to as a monkey or an ape – it was shattering.”
However Goodes said that the blame did not lie with the young girl.
“She’s 13-years-old, still so innocent, I don’t put any blame on her.”
It’s a tough one. It really is!! Is it?
At 13 she should have known better?
Maybe that’s the way they talk in her family?
Perhaps she has a circle of friends who refer to Indigenous People that way?
OR, maybe, just maybe, she’s a teenager who, in the moment, got carried away and didn’t control her impulses.
This teenager (a time of development, I might add, where risk taking behaviour begins and figuring out the world is more complex for our youth than ever before) was in the middle of an environment, the AFL’s monstrous MCG, alongside 1000s of people yelling and screaming profanities, perhaps equally offensive. I have seen grown adults get caught up in this type of mayhem and communicate in a way that is regrettable. As such, it’s not a stretch for me to imagine how a young person got dragged into this mesmerizing maze.
I don’t care who is to blame; the young girl, her parents, her school, the football community, the world???? I care about the learning from this situation and how its used to move forward, especially for the future of this young girl. How about we concentrate less on pointing blame and concentrate on how each party can actually make this essential step forward, with physical and mental safety intact. I would like to think The Media, The AFL,The Swans,The Girl’s Family and Friends, The girl’s school and US as community members, reflect on our roles in nurturing and guiding this young lady (and others like her) forward without crippling under the enormity and pressure of the EYES of most Australians on her every move. I am sure the AFL and Swans are ensuring this of Adam Goodes and rightly so. I would hope, as a community, we would do the same for our young, impulsive and vulnerable.
I am not, in anyway, undermining the misjustice such racial vilification and the effects it must have on those involved. I am asking us all to step back and make this essential value of life, human respect, be taught in all we do. From birth to death, we should be living a life where such essential morals and learnings are integrated in our evolving lives, so that when our kids become adults, such behaviour is mostly automatic and doesn’t rely souly on controling one’s impulses, because quite frankly, asking a teenager to do that ALL the time, is setting them up to FAIL.
I have seen teenagers start to walk along the wrong PATHS for less then this. I hope this young woman has a community around her who sets up a well nutured PATH TO FOLLOW.