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AFL's regrettable response to Goodes documentary

4 1 0
17.05.2019

That Australian rules supporters booed Adam Goodes out of the game reflects shamefully on the AFL.

That key administrators and the board of governors sat on their hands as ugly Australia moved out of control must remain a deep regret for the competition’s governing body.

The Adam Goodes dance.Credit:Channel Seven

And now that the recent past is coming back to haunt the football world through the work of Ian Darling’s reportedly brutal documentary The Final Quarter, it is intriguing to witness the AFL’s careful management of the retelling of the Adam Goodes story and the widespread racism he exposed.

As the football calendar heads towards the Sir Doug Nicholls Round, the Swans' Marn Grook game and Dreamtime at the ’G, it plans a celebration of the career and life of Essendon’s pivotal indigenous Hall of Famer Michael Long, a celebration that will run parallel to the ongoing Goodes reflection and in stark contrast.

Expecting a change of government, the commission wants the game to develop a united approach behind the Uluru Statement From The Heart and, in the words of CEO Gillon McLachlan, ‘‘own’’ the mistakes it made back in 2015 when the AFL failed Goodes.

So it chose Tuesday’s meeting of the 18 clubs to unveil the Darling documentary to the chief executives of all those clubs. Clearly the AFL is hoping to develop a unified response to Goodes revisited — a 75-minute contemplation to be launched at the Sydney Film Festival on June 7 which, only using visual and written reactions from the time, tells it as it happened and reflects so poorly on some individuals.

The film shocked many of the club bosses. Liz Lukin, the AFL’s former executive in charge of corporate affairs who still comes in to handle head office crisis management,........

© Brisbane Times