News & Commentary Guy Rundle on Adam Goodes and the 'industrial issue' of racism among AFL fans By Guy Rundle | July 30, 2015 | “Goodes isn’t being booed by the self-selecting group doing it because they believe themselves to be superior to him. They’re doing it because they know they aren’t, and the player-fanbase relationship has a strange and not always positive twist these days.” Years ago, I seem to remember (or did I merely imagine it?) various quasi-unions and associations were conferring on amalgamating and then affiliating with the ACTU to create one big performers’ union. At its headiest, this was going to combine Equity, the actors’ mob, the writers guilds, and whatever union that covers party clowns and strippers … and the AFL players’ association. It was a delicious thought for a while. Those lithe ballet performers in their unstructured chaotic events called “Aussie rules” joining together with the actors, etc, etc. That never came to anything, but it’s expressive of a truth about football — it’s an industrial activity, a onetime community activity that has since become an input product for mass media, the live crowds themselves now a mere add-on to the spectacle. Teams that were once grounded in the communities they lived in and could draw their players only from certain geographical areas are now brands, mere labels for whatever collection of players they build in each year. That has not only changed the relationship between club and community, it has changed that between spectator and players. Players who once played on a Saturday and worked down the high street Monday to Friday are now separate people, superstars who live separate lives. That has given them lives that many could only envy — even if many stuff up those opportunities — but it also leaves them isolated, both from the fans and each other. Players have become commodities. That largely unspoken factor lies at the heart of the nasty, sad, depressing attacks on Adam Goodes, the reaction to them — and gives a clue about what needs to happen. Read the full story at Crikey Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn Email About the Author: Guy Rundle Guy Rundle is a cultural commentator and Crikey's writer-at-large.