When Adam met Rio: conversations on racism, anti-racism and multiculturalism in the Australian Football League and English Premier League
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This article employs a 2013 televised dialogue on racism between two male, minority ethnic, global football stars – Adam Goodes of the Australian Rules code and Rio Ferdinand, an English Premier League player – for a timely, comparative and cross-cultural analysis of issues around race, ethnicity, Indigeneity, and identity, and dominant approaches to anti-racism and multiculturalism within these codes. Prior to the television interview, the Indigenous Goodes had been racially vilified by a 13-year-old female spectator during a match, and subsequently likened to King Kong by Collingwood president, Eddie McGuire. After an opponent racially slurred his brother during a 2011 match, Ferdinand initiated a protest, followed by many fellow professionals, against the perceived inaction to racism from football authorities by refusing to wear T-shirts promoting the work of anti-racist organization, Kick It Out. The article argues that, despite their differences, dialogue between the two football codes holds the potential for progressive anti-racist policy-making.
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