UPDATE: Former Australian of the Year Adam Goodes announced his retirement to his teammates from the AFL following Sydney Swans’ semi-final loss on Saturday night.
The two-time Brownlow medalist was a prominent player in AFL and holds the record for the most games played for an Indigenous player.
Goodes’ retirement comes after 18 years at the club with 372 games played across 17 seasons.
Sydney Swans coach John Longmire said Goodes kept the news quiet as he wanted to focus on the game.
“He has kept it to himself because it has never been about Adam it was about our season and being competitive,” John Longmire said.
“It’ll probably be hard for him to imagine life without the football club, but he’ll be right, he’s pretty successful in whatever he does.”
It still remains unclear if Goodes will take part in the traditional motorcade for retiring players at the grand final following the booing controversy.
EARLIER: The booing controversy surrounding Adam Goodes has returned during the AFL series after the Indigenous player was again booed by opposing fans last Saturday.
Goodes was first subjected to booing after he celebrated a try with an Indigenous inspired war dance in a game against Carlton Blues in May and has continued to be booed since.
The former Australian of the Year has always been outspoken on Indigenous issues, and believes the boos are racially motivated.
The reactions regarding the issue have been divided and sparked massive debate on broadcast and social media.
Former Swans, Barry Hall told Fox Footy viewers that he understands Goodes is very proud of his heritage but he “doesn’t like to see that”.
AFL spokesperson Mr. McLachlan says that Adam Goodes is personally affected and urges fans to take Goodes’ mental well-being into consideration.
“The booing of Adam Goodes is being felt as racism by him and by many in our football community and as such, I urge our supporters to understand the toll this is having, the message it is sending, and that it does not reflect well on our game,” Mr McLachlan said.
“Racism has no place in our game, and while I respect that people may have different views about what is happening to Adam, it is impossible to separate this issue from the issue of race.”
Indigenous football player Theeran Pearson supports Adam Goodes and believes this incident has generated more momentum and created discussions about individuals acceptance to different cultural values.
“As a sportsman and an Indigenous person I was encouraged to make a stance on racism. I think what Adam did was awesome and will be forever cherished in the eyes of many, including myself, my family and my mates who also celebrate our culture through post try celebrations,” Theeran said.
“From my view, I am all for it and within the sporting arena people are excited to see the shake-a-leg or boomerang throwing as a sign of celebrating the Indigenous culture.”
Temporary security measures have been put in place to help put a stop to inappropriate crowd behaviour, including an increase in security staff members.
Domain Stadium management employed 200 extra security staff for the match and have encouraged fans to use an SMS messaging service in order to report any inappropriate crowd behaviour.
Indigenous university athlete Connor Diffey says that the reactions are due to a lack of education on the issue.
“I think the negative response is just people showing their ignorance towards the issue. I hope it doesn’t impact the way in which people celebrate on field achievements in the future.” Connor said.
Australian U18 St Brendan’s Captain Isaiah Panuve also says he doesn’t understand why people were offended by the war dance and that he relates to Goodes’ cultural traditions.
“I feel as if he is just trying to embrace his culture and his race, I am 100% behind him because I would do the same.” Isaiah said.