There was much controversy recently involving prominent Australian Rules football player Adam Goodes. Mr Goodes performed a celebratory ‘war cry’ straight after he scored a goal. He did so in the direction of opposing fans in the stands and uproar ensued.
I saw the footage and personally cannot understand the drama. To me, it looked like an indigenous man celebrating and displaying his cultural pride. Apparently some of the ire was due to the ‘violent’ nature of the celebration.
Footballers perform all sorts of celebratory gestures during a game – I’ve seen fingers waved at the crowd, shirts pulled over the head whilst running about, somersaults, the goanna (Greg Inglis does this one!) and numerous other quirks. I don’t see any problem with what Mr Goodes did at all. In addition, regarding the so-called violent or intimidating nature of the celebration, isn’t that exactly what the Maori haka is designed to do – to intimidate? I am aware that the haka is usually performed before a match and is done so before the opposing team, not the spectators. But really, are we getting so thin-skinned as to take offence at something as innocuous as this?
I am very glad Mr Goodes shows his pride in his heritage and culture. It’s just a shame this seems to be so disconcerting for a lot of people.
See the links below for his response to the controversy and the origins of the ‘war cry’.
PS – his arms are AMAZING!!