13-year-old apologises for racist taunt agains Goodes
UPDATE: SYDNEY Swans champion Adam Goodes says he has "never been more hurt" after a 13-year-old girl called him an "ape" during his side's 47-point win over Collingwood on Friday night.
The dual Brownlow medallist fronted the media in Melbourne this morning to talk about the ugly incident, which came ironically in the opening match of the AFL's indigenous round.
A short time ago Goodes confirmed via Twitter the girl had contacted him to apologise.
"Just received a phone call from a young girl apologizing for her actions. Lets support her please #racismitstopswithme #IndigenousRound," Goodes tweeted.
Earlier Goodes told reporters the incident, which happened late in the game, left him shocked and distressed.
"To hear a 13-year-old girl call me an ape ... it was shattering," Goodes said.
"Racism has a face. It's a 13-year-old girl.
"It felt like I was in high school again being bullied. I don't think I've ever been more hurt by someone calling me a name. Not just by what was said, by who it came from."
But he also called for calm and urged people and the media to exercise restraint in going after the girl, saying it was "not a witch hunt".
He said the girl needed support and education.
"I've got no doubt in my mind she's got no idea what she was calling me last night," he said.
Goodes, one of the game's most decorated players and a leading voice on indigenous issues, reacted immediately to the comment on Friday night.
He pointed the girl out to a nearby security guard, and left the ground a short time later. He was seen making his way to the dressing room as soon as the siren sounded.
The girl, who was wearing a Collingwood jumper and scarf, was ejected from the MCG to jeers from the crowd.
11:30PM (FRI) THE opening match of the AFL's indigenous round has been marred by an ugly incident in which a young female Collingwood fan appeared to racially vilify Sydney Swans champion Adam Goodes.
The incident happened late in the match near the boundary line, with a visibly upset Goodes reacting immediately to the comment.
He grabbed the nearest security guard and pointed to the girl, who was later escorted from the ground to jeers from the crowd.
A number of Swans players and officials, including Jude Bolton, confirmed after the match Goodes had been racially vilified.
Goodes, who was easily the Swan's best in a convincing victory over the Magpies, was so upset by the incident he did not stay on the ground after the final siren.
The Swans games record-holder looked as those he may have been crying when he joined the team to sing the club song.
It's 20 years since St Kilda's Nicky Winmar famously lifted his jumper and pointed to his skin after being on the receiving end of racial abuse from Collingwood fans at Victoria Park.
On that occasion the then Collingwood president fuelled the fire by saying ''as long as they [Aborigines] conduct themselves like white people, well, off the field, everyone will admire and respect them".
It was a different story tonight as Eddie McGuire rushed to the Swans' dressing room after the match to check on Goodes.
"We know what happened with Nicky Winmar 20 years ago. We've come so far but every now and again we have to keep going keep going," McGuire later told Channel 7.
He also apologised to Goodes on behalf of Collingwood and "all football fans".
But given the girl's apparent young age, he called for calm ahead of the inevitable media storm.
"We don't want to throw her on the scrap heap, but we also don't tolerate this abominable behavior. We don't stand for this," he said.
"Let's not go silly on this. Let's make sure we can help educate her and make her a better person for it."