Culture

The AFL Has Finally Apologised For Failing Adam Goodes During The Racist Booing Saga

"We apologise unreservedly for our failures during this period."

Adam Goodes documentary The Australian Dream

The Australian Football League has offered a belated apology to Indigenous star Adam Goodes for its failure to speak out against the racist abuse that marred the final three years of his career.

In a joint statement released on Friday, the AFL and the 18 clubs acknowledged that not enough was done to support Goodes after he was subjected to horrific booing and abuse from fans that ultimately saw him give up the game at the end of 2015.

“We see that Australia’s history of dispossession and disempowerment of First Nation’s people has left its mark, and that racism, on and off the field, continues to have a traumatic and damaging impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players and communities,” the statement reads.

“The treatment of Adam challenges us, and our right to be considered Australia’s indigenous football code. Adam, who represents so much that is good and unique about our game, was subject to treatment that drove him from football. The game did not do enough to stand with him and call it out.”

“We apologise unreservedly for our failures during this period.”

The league and the clubs have also pledged “to continue to fight all forms of racism and discrimination, on and off the field”.

The apology comes ahead of the release of a pair of documentaries that chronicle the abuse Goodes faced and the failure of the AFL to stamp it out. The Final Quarter premiered at the Sydney Film Festival last night, while The Australian Dream will screen at the Melbourne International Film Festival in August.