Australian soccer player gets girl, 13, removed after she calls him ‘ape’
TV footage shows Sydney Swans star forward Adam Goodes — an Aboriginal Australian — pointing out the teen racist to security. Goodes says it isn’t the first time he’s been called names during a game.
By Lee Moran / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
An Aussie soccer player confronted a racist teen fan who’d called him an ape — and had her escorted away from the game.
TV footage shows Sydney Swans star forward Adam Goodes — who is an Aboriginal Australian — calling out the 13-year-old who’d screamed out the word.
The 33-year-old is seen running past the girl — a fan of city rivals Collingwood — but then turning around and pointing her out to security.
She is then taken from her seat at Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The incident, during Friday night’s bitter derby game, was seen by millions.
Goodes, whose side went on to win 15.12 (102) to 8.7 (55), said the abuse had rendered the victory “meaningless.”
“To come to the boundary line and hear a girl call me an ‘ape’, and it’s not the first time on a footy field I’ve been referred to as a ‘monkey’ or an ‘ape’, it was shattering,” he told ABC.
Cops questioned the girl, who has not been named, for two hours and she was released pending further inquiries.
She has since apologized to the football star, who revealed he would not be pressing charges and would prefer she undergoes an education program instead.
”It’s not her fault, she’s 13, she’s still so innocent, I don’t put any blame on her,” he said.
“Unfortunately, it’s what she hears in the environment she’s grown up in that has made her think that it’s OK to call people names,” he added.
In the aftermath, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard described Goodes as “someone we can all look up to.”
“His words and actions displayed the highest levels of respect and fairness — qualities he carries on and off the field,” she added.