Waleed Aly owns the debate over Adam Goodes' war cry.

This football controversy goes way deeper than the field.

Sydney Swans star Adam Goodes is no stranger to controversy. Which is lucky, because now he is embroiled in another.

The two-time Brownlow Medalist (and one of the AFL’s most decorated indigenous players) celebrated a goal during Friday night’s game with an Aboriginal war cry, which was booed by opposition supporters.

Watch the controversial celebration and reaction here:

The action has been intensely debated and was criticised by some as a violent and aggressive attack on Carlton supporters.

Goodes said the war cry – adopted from underage Indigenous team the Flying Boomerangs – was simply his way of displaying his pride at being Aboriginal during the AFL’s Indigenous Round.

The boos from the crowd have raised concerning questions about whether they were racially motivated.

Appearing on the ABC’s Insiders program, Waleed Aly – one of the most articulate media commentators on the planet and serial nailer of all things social issues – succinctly explains why the former Australian of the Year was booed.

“I think it was the fact that this was some kind of cultural expression that some people found confronting,” Aly said.

Goodes during the war cry. Screenshot via Channel Seven.

“There is no mystery about this at all. And it’s not as simple as it being about race, it’s about something else.


“It’s about the fact that Australia is generally a very tolerant society until its minorities demonstrate that they don’t know their place. And at that moment, the minute someone in a minority position acts as though they’re not a mere supplicant, then we lose our minds. And we say, ‘No, no, you’ve got to get back in your box here’.

Watch Aly nail the debate here (post continues after video):

“And that’s why Adam Goodes ruffles feathers. It’s not ‘cos he’s controversial, it’s not ‘cos he’s a provocateur, it’s none of that. It’s because he actually says, I’m going to say something…’

“What happens is the minute an Indigenous man stands up and is something other than compliant, the backlash is huge and it is them who are creating division and destroying our culture. And that is ultimately what we boo. We boo our discomfort.”

It’s not the first time Goodes has received a verbal attack from spectators.

During the 2013 Indigenous round, Goodes stopped play to point out a 13-year-old Collingwood supporter who called him an “ape”.

Watch what happened here:

She later apologised and said she did not know the term was a racial slur.

For more of Waleed nailing the big issues, try these articles:

Waleed Aly grills Malcolm Turnbull over domestic violence funding.

Waleed Aly slams the Government for not spending more to prevent violence against women.

The one where Waleed Aly slams Australia’s action on climate change.