A ball is loose on the surface, and the number 37 from the red and white team sets after it on route to the goal square.
A chorus of boos from the opposition fans washes over the coliseum as soon as this player comes in to the frame, as is commonplace in sporting arenas all over the globe.
But these boos, for a reason no one can quite identify, are noticed more than any other, and seem much more common than those directed at other players.
Sydney Swans star Adam Goodes has recently taken an indefinite leave from AFL football as he deals with the booing drama that has plagued him for months.
I said that the reasoning for the jeering is one that cannot be determined. Everyone has their reasons, and here is my take on the situation.
Whilst nobody is willing to admit that their booing is racially motivated, I believe that a lot of it may well be.
I’m not necessarily suggesting that Goodes is being booed because of the colour of his skin. There are 70 other Indigenous players in the AFL that are adored by fans all around the country.
I believe that the Goodes situation stems from the Brownlow medallist’s reputation as a “sook” and a “whinger” – which has been indirectly intensified by his stance on racism.
Now, I have absolutely no problem with Goodes standing up for what he believes in. Everyone is entitled to do so.
My problem is, I believe he is going about it in the wrong way.
At times it seems that Goodes is being just as bad as the people he is blaming for their alleged racist taunts.
He is trying to reduce the so-called “gap” between white Australians and Indigenous Australians, but as far as I am concerned, he is contributing to the divide.
He has vilified our past and preached division.
He once wrote that “It takes courage to tell the truth, no matter how unpopular those truths may be. But it also takes courage to face up to our past.”
Our past? You mean something that settlers did hundreds of years ago, something that I personally took absolutely no part in? Something that I wasn’t alive to see.
Why should I take the blame for something that I didn’t do? Why should I take the blame for something my ancestors may or may not have done?
Do you think that had European settlers never arrived, things would be still be the same as they were in the pre-settlement era for the indigenous population?
Over time another race would have arrived here in an effort to build a new settlement. I’m sure of it.
After slotting a goal for the Swans earlier this season, Goodes did a war dance directed at Carlton supporters in the stands.
The dance was done to acknowledge a junior indigenous representative team, with whom Goodes had worked.
That is all well and good.
But to do it in an intimidating manner towards opposition fans was a poor decision. If anyone did that towards me in the crowd, it would not sit well with me.
By all means celebrate with the dance. But don’t direct it at opposition supporters. Do it with a smile and celebrate your heritage – much like rugby league star Greg Inglis and “The Goanna” – not a menacing look.
I have heard that Goodes has European ancestry. Why am I guilty because of my European ancestry, and he isn’t? Why do I have to defend myself, and he doesn’t?
It’s all pretty rich coming from a bloke that has benefited more than most from modern-day society.