Critical race theory and the orthodoxy of race neutrality: Examining the denigration of Adam Goodes

Stella Coram, Chris Hallinan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This study draws on critical race theory to examine common sense assumptions of race and racism so as to identify the distortions in logic in the justification that the booing of Indigenous athlete Adam Goodes was not 'racist'. It is claimed that the central assumption of race neutrality relies on the assertion that non-Indigenous athletes are booed and that the booing of an individual such as Adam Goodes does not constitute racism since, for this to be the case, it must apply to all Indigenous athletes. Moreover, race is not targeted, only the athlete, nor is booing explicit of race. This study highlights the historical context within which Indigenous athletes are racially discriminated against. We contend that booing represents a covert reworking of the racial vilification of Indigenous athletes and that their vilification is but one form of racism. A theoretical piece, this paper follows in-depth examination of the content of booing (Coram 2016).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-111
Number of pages13
JournalAustralian Aboriginal Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

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