Melbourne: The Ethnic Communities ’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) has expressed strong support for champion AFL player Adam Goodes and his family in the wake of what it sees as unacceptable behaviour on the part of some football supporters.
ECCV Chairperson, Eddie Micallef, said media reports that Goodes was being booed by some AFL supporters – which had undertones of racism – was totally unacceptable, and leadership within the AFL and clubs needed to do more to confront this directly.
“It has been continually stated by community and political leaders that multiculturalism is one of the great strengths of this country, and to see such blatant acts of racism cannot and should not be tolerated.
“ECCV abhors racism in any form and we would like to express our feelings of support for Adam Goodes and his family.
“We are aware of the devastating effect of racism on an individual’s wellbeing and the social and economic impact on society.
The ECCV Board, staff and members would like the general community to know that we stand by Adam Goodes in the face of such unacceptable behaviour.
“The Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria has been advocating for ethnic and multicultural communities in this state for more than 40 years, and part of this advocacy has been our strong opposition to racism in all of its forms.
“ECCV recently held a community consultation as part of its series of social cohesion policy briefs. Participants from multicultural and multifaith organisations expressed concern about the increased incidence of racism.
“It has often been said that one of the great strengths of Victoria is its genuine support for multiculturalism, and part of that strength is its support by all levels of society for the unique position of our First Peoples.
“On behalf of the multicultural community, ECCV stands side by side with Adam Goodes – a proud Adnyamathanha Narungga man – his family, and the entire Aboriginal community as they deal with a disturbing and hurtful level of racist abuse at Australian football stadiums, and in certain sections of the social and commercial media.
“The right to boo, bully and belittle someone – particularly because of their culture or ethnicity – is not a right worthy of upholding. When we as a society permit attacks on community leaders like Adam, we not only embolden racists, but we discourage the present and future generations from speaking out against discrimination and expressing their cultural diversity.” (TIW)