Adam Goodes Quotes
By the end of my career I just really hated being out there on that field and being subjected to what was happening to me.
The best thing that I did was get myself out of an environment that was toxic to me and to my mental health. That was through retiring from football.
That's what I love about Australia: we can do things the way we want to do them, because that's the way our country is - no matter what culture you come from, you can come to Australia and practise your religion, you can practise your beliefs, and you shouldn't be judged for it.
It's fun, and a laugh for you... you can boo me and feel happy about yourself because you're part of the crowd that did that. But deep down there were people in that crowd booing me because of my Aboriginality.
When I retired I was done and it was instant relief. Instant.
I enrolled to do a TAFE course on Indigenous Studies, and over the next two-and-a-half years of my course I learned so much about my people and my culture in a broader sense. It made me so proud of my Aboriginality and our history in this country, which dates back over 40,000 years.
You know obviously my stand on racism is that it's unacceptable and that we should always stand up to it.
I ask every Australian to think about what the constitutional exclusion says to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, to see our vast and inspiring history in this land not mentioned in the official picture like that.
There's nothing, today, that excites me, or that makes me think I would like to be back in AFL circles. I have no interest. No interest whatsoever. My love for the game died inside of me in those final years of me playing.
The support of my mother has made such a difference in my life, sacrificing everything to make sure that we went to school, did our homework, got an education. That was one person supporting me, and it takes more than one person in our community to help raise our children.
If people have got a problem with me, say it to me. If you're going to hurt my feelings, I'm going to point you out.
The football field was a place where I could express myself and just be me. Play the game as well as you can and that's what you're judged on. Not the colour of your skin, or your beliefs, or the conversation you have around racism.
You need to understand how you lead, and in my case it is through my actions and the way I bring others into the game and also how I am able to form relationships. I am somebody who can earn people's trust, and that's crucial to how I try to lead the team.
What I've seen, and the reactions from 'The Final Quarter' and 'The Australian Dream', is that a lot more people are more willing to share their stories around racism.
Yes, we do need better representation, but I'm a big believer that we also need to talk about the Uluru Statement of the Heart. We need all of Australia to understand what it was, and is, and what that movement is about.
I think any time people are recognised for standing up for what they believe in and the way that they do it is a step forward, because if we don't stand up for what we believe in and we let people get away with not educating them for things that they have said they're going to think that behaviour is acceptable.
I don't think there's too many Aboriginal people out there who are successful that don't want to help make gains for our people.
Football, for me, was a place where I got accepted for being a good footballer.
Yeah you just have to be true to yourself, know where you come from, make sure that your relationships with family members back in country, back home, are really strong so that connection is always there.
Whenever I had been racially vilified before it had been by peers or drunk men. It's more shocking when it's a 13-year-old child. No 13-year-old is racist.
I just figured that, for me to get the best out of myself and do the right thing by myself, I really just needed to step away and find out what I really wanted to do and hopefully getting back to where my people are from and getting out bush could really re-energise me and help heal those wounds.
My mum taught me to treat people the way I want to be treated.
I play over-35s soccer on the weekend to get my fix of running into people and crashing and bashing, and I still have that desire to win in the sport that I play. I don't think that'll ever lose me.
At the end of the day, it's my choice to do the lap. At the end of the day, it was my choice not to be nominated for the Madden medal. I had my last football responsibility as the club Best and Fairest and that's what I was looking for.
I grew up playing soccer and it's definitely my first love.
I'm not afraid of confrontation. It doesn't have to be an argument. We all have a voice. And they are all worth listening to.
Injuries weren't the reason why I retired. I retired on my own terms.
I've been visiting community centres and schools for 20-plus years and what I've seen is that kids are kids, they want to learn. They learn from experiences, they ask questions when they don't know something.
I was very lucky to have fantastic leaders before me in Paul Kelly, Leo Barry, Brett Kirk, Craig Bolton, Mick O'Loughlin and Stuart Maxfield, and all of those players led in completely different ways.
Because women are more than the people who raise our children, they are fantastic leaders in their own rights in our community, and we want to give them the same safe environment, as we would expect.
For me it's about supporting our Indigenous kids and completing that whole journey: early childhood, primary school, high school, university and then career. I want to be a part of that process all the way, wearing lots of different hats.
So for me, you can't control the media, you have to work with media to get your message out there and you just hope that there's enough good honest reporting and people in the media that can get that job done.
If I'm only defined by my sport, I really have failed. Yes, I've opened myself up for more criticism, but I'm a professional athlete. I get criticised every week. I'm used to it. It doesn't mean it doesn't hurt, but you get used to it.
As a kid we moved around a fair bit as a family. It was difficult to make friends but sport helped. Once people saw you kick a football it broke down barriers. Instead of being the new skinny black kid you were the kid everyone wanted on their team.
Growing up, I knew I was different. But I didn't know what it meant to be Aboriginal. I just knew that I had a really big, extended family. I was taught nothing about who we were or where we came from.