Two-time Brownlow medallist and premiership player Adam Goodes has declined an invitation to be inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.
As reported by the ABC, AFL chair Richard Goyder confirmed that the former Sydney Swan notified him of his decision earlier this year.
Goyder also revealed that Goodes had asked the AFL not to divulge the reasons behind the rejection prior to this year’s induction event, which has been postponed due to Melbourne’s COVID-19 lockdown.
“Adam had asked the AFL to wait before announcing his decision, which has now been made public separately,” Goyder said.
“Adam was clear he did not want his decision to detract from the moment for the 2021 inductees.”
“Adam remains a great champion and leader of our game who has given more to our sport than he received in return.”
Goodes retired from the AFL in 2015 after having consistently copped booing and racial slurs doing his final three seasons.
His treatment by the AFL and society at large became the subject of two 2019 documentaries, The Australian Dream and The Final Quarter.
Goyder has reiterated that the AFL “[failed] to call out racism” at the time Goodes was still playing.
“The treatment of Adam in his final years at AFL level drove him from football. The AFL and our game did not do enough to stand with him at the time, and call it out,” he said.
He continued: “The unreserved apology that the game provided him in 2019 was too late, but, on behalf of our Commission and the AFL, I apologise unreservedly again for our failures during this period.”
“Failure to call out racism and not standing up for Adam let down all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players, past and present.”
“We hope that there will be a time in the future when Adam will want to be connected to the game again.”