Racism unfortunately remains a blight on sport across the world but Adam Goodes took an incredibly brave and admirable stand against it by calling out an abusive fan in the middle of a game earlier today.
Despite numerous initiatives to remove racism and all forms of race-related abuse from sport across the world, it remains an issue and there have been a number of high profile and unfortunate cases both on and off the field of play in recent times.
It reared its ugly head once again in an AFL clash between the Sydney Swans and Collingwood at the MCG earlier when a Collingwood fan racially abused well known indigenous Sydney Swans player Adam Goodes while he was in close proximity to the supporters during the contest.
Instead of ignoring it, Goodes pointed out the fan in question, who was subsequently escorted out of the ground by stewards only minutes before the end of the game.
Instead of celebrating with team-mates after a Sydney victory, Goodes went straight down the tunnel afterwards and the nature of the controversy became apparent after the game when Collingwood President Eddie McGuire issued an apology on behalf of the club.
"I apologised to him on behalf of the Collingwood Football Club and football people in general. We have a zero tolerance at the Collingwood Football Club on this. It's devastating.''
"I said 'don't let one person ruin your leadership this week. You've been absolutely sensational.'
"Adam Goodes was magnificent tonight. He's everything you love about footy.
"We know what happened with Nicky Winmar (the former St. Kilda player who featured in a famous photograph when standing up to racist abuse from the Collingwood cheer squad in 1993) 20 years ago. We've come so far and every now and again we have to keep going, keep going, keep going.
"It stops here. It stops here for everybody. We're not going to take this."
Sydney coach John Longmire added: "That (the incident) will be addressed by the authorities.''
"Adam was clearly disappointed and upset. He's confident the AFL will work through it.
"It's something everyone takes really seriously.''
To add a deeper layer of significance to what went on at the MCG, the meeting of Sydney Swans and Collingwood was the first game in the AFL's Indigenous Round, which celebrates the immense contribution indigenous players have made to the game.
Goodes’ actions come only months after AC Milan’s Kevin Prince Boateng walked off the pitch in response to racist abuse from supporters and the more people like Goodes and Boateng that are willing to take a stand against the idiots responsible for this sort of behaviour, the more chance there is that incidents of this nature will become fewer and farther between.
Goodes has been receiving plaudits on Twitter from those in the AFL community and beyond for his actions tonight and he is more than deserving of them and of massive respect for his willingness to stand up and tackle the issue head on.
Hat-tip to Conor McDonnell for giving us the heads up on Facebook