Eddie Betts’s interview on AFL 360 on Tuesday night was profound, emotional and downright…correct. His powerful statement has resonated around Australia and for the most part, people have not only have supported him, but have more of an understanding of the insidious nature of discrimination.
I listened to the morning show on SEN where the question was asked regarding Sam Newman, whether the host would continue to be his friend and even get him on the radio. He said he will still be friends with him and get him on the radio as the world needs to hear opposing opinions, even if the host does not agree with him. While generally I agree, in this instance I do not and I don’t think many do.
I totally agree that we need to hear all sides of a situation, but hear to Sam Newman’s diatribe of George Floyd’s life and how that the AFL players taking the knee have no real clue about the issues is really something I don’t want to hear on the radio or anywhere else, because Sam Newman just doesn’t get it, and please don’t say I don’t either, because that is where you are wrong. I get it. I have been victimized many times because of the religion I was born into.
The little innuendos, the subtle “jokes”, the comments followed by a laugh, are just like Eddie has said, “it hurts myself, and it hurts my family.” I am not religious in the slightest and this is not the platform to discuss religion, but this is about how society makes a culture feel because it is not theirs. They are seen as different and therefore strange.
I have seen several times a “troll” hiding behind the anonymity of their keyboard and disparage and make claims of their superiority over anyone else, and they think that what they are saying could be seen as funny, acceptable, and intelligent. It is none of these things, it is actually the opposite and shows the true nature of a person.
One person on social media has made the statement that Eddie Betts should just accept the fact that he will be racially abused, as it is part of life and to do anything else will only makes things worse! I was actually speechless because how naive is this statement. Is this what should have happened when women were being abused! When people who are a part of the LGBTIQA+ community were being abused? When people of different colour and religion were being abused? Should we just ignore it in the hope that it will go away. It doesn’t and it never will.
Until someone calls it out for what it is, racism, discrimination of any kind WILL NOT GO AWAY! It will keep on happening and become the norm for it will be accepted because no-one has come out and stated ENOUGH! Well enough is enough. Eddie Betts and other Indigenous people no matter if they are sportspeople or not, should be respected for who they are, not what they are, and this goes for all forms of discrimination.
We have to shut down those who continue to disparage anyone who sees only what they want to see and the not the person. We have stand with Eddie Betts no matter if you are a Carlton supporter or not, and say ENOUGH!
We should be celebrating our magnificent Indigenous people and their culture. It can start at the sports arena and it can start with a man such as Eddie Betts saying…ENOUGH!