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Re: Eddie's Fight Against Racism in Australia

Reply #45
I just wanted to write a statement here before we continue so others can get the idea of what I am trying to state.

"The standard you walk past, is the standard you are willing to accept".

@ Thry
Firstly please don't take this wrong way, I do not in any want to lesson anything you have experienced.
I grew up in the Thornbury-Northcote area that had (and still has) a huge Greek and Italian population. The Greek population was bigger by a fair way I'd guess so needless to say, I grew up with a lot of Greek friends. One common theme amongst my Greek friends was that their parents wanted to go back to Greece, many of them did with many only to return again. I can only vouch for me associations but this was vary rare amongst my Italian friends and relatives. In fact I cant recall one Italian mate or relative whos family returned to Italy. I never understood it that, perhaps the Greek community took the vilification more to heart??? I can tell you I was racially vilified as much as the next "wog" growing up but it didn't bother me, I never once got into a fight over it, I just ignored it. I was and still am extremely proud of my Italian heritage, but I in the back of mind, I knew those calling me names were actually just as my of an "import" as my parents were. Today, the "yuppies/hipsters" pay a small fortune for the Italian style panini and focaccia I used to eat, and still do, every day. So I guess eventually, the locals  have learnt to accept European stuff. Having said all that, I personally cannot even begin to compare what I went through to what the indigenous people in this country have gone through and continue to experience.

Thats cool GI2C.  Your experience is different to mine.

I didn't grow up in the inner north.  We were in what was the outer east (like I said, Box Hill South area).  Not the niche market it is today.

I don't compare my experience with that of the indigenous but I think I have an understanding of it from a different perspective thanks to history.  Don't forget I mentioned a comparison regarding affluence earlier too.  The Greeks general experience with persecution is a bit different to the Italians thanks to the Ottoman empire, and the forced Turkification of what historically is Greek lands and peoples (or at very least Hellenic which is a small difference in translation) and distinction.  Forced conversion to Islam.  Abandonment of allies during the crusades (Christian/Catholic schism politics allowing Muslim invaders), ethnic cleansing, pogroms (death marches), population "exchanges".  Its a history that is more relevant to those over in europe but also, more closely resembling that of what the Indigenous went through rather than the Italians, but the distincion is poignant.  Have a think about the fact that the Gallipoli peninsula literally translates to "Blue City" in Greek, and is to the south of Point Hellas as one example of what I mean, without getting into any real debate about it.  For the most part, these are views that are perpetuated throughout history, and I recognise that the Hellenic or Byzantine empire likely did similar to their rivals.  This is a point of difference between Italians and Greeks but it probably explains the different reaction to the people's experience with racism historically. 

What I do see though, is that we are fighting racism, and your comment in bold represents a mentality that needs to shift.  You allow the above, or explain it away, and you therefore allow and enable people to hold similar views, against different people (including the indigenous).

You cannot fight racism against one only and I think this is the point I was trying to make as strongly as possible (which seemed to meet some denigration, because "its different").  You must set the standard for acceptable behaviour for ALL people of society (that point was clearly missed in my previous posts).  There is a changing of the guards around these matters occurring, and none of it is acceptable any more and dividing people along those lines is what breeds racist sentiment to begin with.

"why dont you F%* OFF, and go back to where you came from" is completely unacceptable to utter against ANY person, because of the statement that you are not welcome to be part of our functioning society based on your background.  Its unacceptable, and like I stated before.  2018 was the last time I heard this.  Not that long ago in the scheme of things to be hearing that rhetoric. 
"everything you know is wrong"

Paul Hewson

Re: Eddie's Fight Against Racism in Australia

Reply #46
I'll concur with Thry on the raciscm and bullying that the Greek and Italian kids copped....I went to Burwood Tech and was a Box Hill local myself , the school was notorious at the best of times even for the locals. We had a lot of problem kids from disadvantaged backgrounds, kids from boys homes etc and it was merciless at times how these migrant kids were treated.Staff couldnt handle the kids some who were men as we had 18/19 year olds who were kept down and nothing was done to stop it.
It just seemed like a rite of passage that every WOG kid had to go through and that it was universally accepted as being ok...so I get why Thry and in particular his brother felt they were isolated and abused. I remember one migrant kid was found impaled on the wire fence on the oval , the wire on the water pipe railing had been shoved through his wrist, another Italian kid ended up shoved head first through a telephone box we had out the front of the school. The solution was to remove the phone box..nothing else was done because it was just a Wog kid who they said started the fight which was BS, all the school knew who was responsible but the head bully was also the head prefect.
Yep its in the past and racism  which is really bullying just comes in different forms now, bit more sophisticated more targetting the mental fragility of the victims but still with the same motives..
You want to fix it then change the laws, heavily fine, jail people etc etc....appealing to their better side or trying educate them is a waste of time IMO. People like Tex Walker have been educated till there is nothing more to teach them but reverted to his natural ways with Robbie Young when he thought it was safe to do so. He needed a justice system that handed him a heavy fine and suspended jail sentence which if he offended again got him a convictionand jail time where he could reeducate himself to his hearts content.
Racist's are Bullies and need appropriate punishment......you have some people feeling sorry for Tex Walker on TV footy shows saying we need to wrap our arms around him???? No wonder Eddie has had enough....

 

Re: Eddie's Fight Against Racism in Australia

Reply #47
Here is another take,  an incident between Syd and Adamson in 1970
From the HS

Syd Jackson and Lee Adamson were central figures in one of footy’s early race rows. Five decades on, they share their stories
Two men at the centre of one of football’s biggest race controversies have met and spoken about the incident for the first time in half a century. This is their powerful story.
Glenn McFarlane
 and
Mick McGuane
9 min read
August 13, 2021 - 6:00AM

Lee Adamson was a tough, dashing Collingwood defender in the late 1960s and ’70s, who rarely showed outward displays of emotion.

But five decades on from his 96-game VFL career, the 75-year-old was brought to tears at a reunion with Carlton’s Indigenous great Syd Jackson as the one-time adversaries met for the first time since being a part of one of footy’s first big race controversies.

In a tribunal appearance following the 1970 second semi-final between Carlton and Collingwood, Jackson said he had struck Adamson because the Magpie backman had made a racial slur towards him.

Adamson hadn’t.

In Carlton’s desire to beat the charge and keep Jackson’s finals hopes alive, then Blues president George Harris instructed him to present an “extreme provocation” defence — even if it wasn’t true.

Jackson, now 77, has unquestionably encountered all manner of racism throughout his life and during his football career, but not in this instance, and never by Adamson.

It would take more than 20 years for Jackson — one of the AFL’s most revered Indigenous leaders and an Indigenous Team of the Century member — to correct the wrong, saying Adamson hadn’t racially vilified him.

It was only recently, just before Melbourne’s lockdown, that the two players were reunited by the Herald Sun and Jackson was able to finally apologise to Adamson in person.

While Adamson has never wanted to dwell on the incident, and doesn’t blame Jackson for what happened, the reminders have never been far away.

Even when Collingwood’s Do Better Report into “systemic racism” at the club was leaked earlier this year, he had to defend himself when one media organisation erroneously stated that he had racially abused Jackson.

He wrote to the organisation to right the wrong, but never received a reply or a retraction.

But Adamson’s tears when he met Jackson recently were about injustices far more important than his own.

Four of Adamson’s 11 grandchildren are Indigenous, and he wants them to grow up in a world where they don’t have to experience what Jackson has had to endure in his journey.

EARLY YEARS

Adamson grew up in a loving family in Greensborough, on the outskirts of Melbourne, with his dad a local footy legend and his mum “a feminist before her time”.

Jackson doesn’t know his actual birthdate, doesn’t know his real birth name, and he never really knew his parents — camel trainer Scotty Tulloch and his partner Amy — or his older sisters Marjorie and Jean.

He saw his sisters again many years later, but they met almost as strangers.

Born near the gold mining town of Leonora in Western Australia, Syd was one of the Stolen Generation, taken from his family when he was only three years old.

“I was thrown on a truck,” Jackson explained. “I was going down town to have an ice cream and the truck just kept going.”

Jackson was moved about on several occasions before he ended up at Roelands Mission, near Bunbury, where he remained until he was old enough to leave at 15.

It was almost “slave labour”, with the children forced to work for hours before and after school.

“You would be out of bed at six in the morning, milk the cows, feed the pigs and you would also do the cooking and housework,” he said.

Footy was Jackson’s release.

“The mission kids loved it,” he said. “The town kids … couldn’t catch us … barefoot and all.”

Jackson made his senior debut for South Bunbury at 16 and within a few years he was playing with East Perth in the WAFL, winning the club’s 1966 best-and-fairest.

He was invited to join Carlton in the VFL, even if he couldn’t get a clearance in his first year in Melbourne. That meant he was the team’s runner in 1968, when the Blues won the premiership.

In 1969, the highly-skilled Jackson burst onto the VFL scene as the competition’s only Indigenous player that season, with the kids left behind at Roelands tuning in on the radio to listen to his exploits.

THE INCIDENT

Adamson was in his fifth VFL season with Collingwood when he played on Jackson the first time — in Round 8, 1970.

“I remember because he was cutting us up,” Adamson recalled.

“I was a verbaliser, that’s the way I played. I would be saying to Syd: ‘Are you going to get the ball or are you going to hang out?’. I did it to everyone. If someone whacked me, then I got whacked.”

But Adamson’s verbalising was never about race.

The incident that would forever link the pair came in the 1970 second semi-final.

Carlton captain John Nicholls took a mark just outside the goalsquare, but the ball spilt free.

Jackson went to pick it up when Adamson threw his boot out at his opponent’s outstretched hands.

“He went to pick it up and I went bang,” Adamson recounted. “I gave him a little touch up on his hand, which wasn’t very nice.

“So he clipped my jaw and I went down like a bag of s---.”

Jackson added: “It was just a spur of the moment thing and I was reported for it.”

Collingwood won the game by 10 points to advance to the grand final. Jackson had been reported for striking, and Adamson for charging him in an earlier incident.

Their next showdown would be at the tribunal.

TRIBUNAL

Harris and the Blues knew if they could plead provocation, they could potentially save Jackson’s season.

“Carlton made up a story that I was provoked,” Jackson said. “It wasn’t anything against you, Lee, but they were very concerned I would miss (the grand final).”

“(Harris) said to me to say (Adamson) called me ‘a black bastard’. I was at the tribunal and they (the Blues advocate) said: ‘Syd, did he (Adamson) refer to the colour of your skin?’. I said, ‘yes, yes, yes’.”

Adamson and Collingwood were not happy he had been wrongly accused of making a racist comment.

“I knew I hadn’t racially abused Syd,” Adamson said. “I’ve never been a racist.

“They pulled a story to get him to play in the Grand Final. He (Harris) was a cunning bloody bloke. I didn’t like George much anyway.”

Five decades on, Adamson doesn’t hold the incident against Jackson, although he has previously said he despised Harris.

“If I had been in the same spot as Syd, I probably would have gone to any lengths to play in a grand final, too,” Adamson said.

“I copped it a bit (after the tribunal hearing). I would always be reminded of it over the years. But I knew that my mother and father brought me up the right way.

“They always said race, colour and religion never mattered. That’s how I’ve always lived.”

As much as he still harbours some guilt, Jackson believes if he hadn’t been told to go with Harris’s ruse, he might have been suspended and missed the grand final.

“I got a sympathy vote,” he said.

Both players were cleared, but the stigma stuck with Adamson.

Jackson went on to kick six goals in a blistering performance against St Kilda in the preliminary final.

A rematch with Collingwood — and Adamson — beckoned.

1970 GRAND FINAL

Jackson can still reel off the exact crowd number of the 1970 grand final crowd — 121,696 — like someone else might reel off a phone number.

It remains the greatest attendance at a VFL-AFL match and was one of the most famous premiership playoffs.

Adamson shook hands with Jackson before the start of the game, but neither said a word to each other.

“We shook hands and that was it, we just played,” Jackson recalled.

“To both of our credit, there was no hijinks. We had been through that (tribunal) stuff,” Adamson said.

“You didn’t want to do anything stupid and have to live with that for the rest of your days.

“I tried to stop him from kicking a goal, which I failed at, because he kicked one and he gave another off (to Ted Hopkins).”

Collingwood’s Do Better report into claims of “systemic racism”, released earlier this year, cited a moment in the game when Jackson was booed by Magpies supporters.

The report referred to a Channel 9 commentator who said: “I don’t like this crowd booing. Bad sportsmanship from Australians to boo on an occasion like this because this fellow (Jackson) is a coloured man, we know, but he is entitled to every bit of respect that anybody’s allowed.”

Jackson says if there was booing that day … “I don’t think they were booing me.”

“I don’t know whether it was just me or whether it was directed at Carlton.

“Anyway, booing in general used to just fire me up even more.”

HALFTIME ENDEAVOUR

Collingwood led by 44 points at halftime, or as Adamson puts it, “by six goals eight”.

That referenced the Magpies’ wayward kicking for goal, even if they looked to have the game well within their grasp.

As champagne corks were being popped by eager Collingwood supporters, there was plenty of action in the Carlton rooms.

Blues coach Ron Barassi was about to turn the game — and the code — on its head, urging his players to “handball, handball, handball” and to take risks.

Jackson recalled the master coach trying to emphasise three key points: “Endeavour, encourage and enthusiasm.”

“‘Barass’ said, ‘How am I going to explain this to you, Syd? Endeavour, it’s like Captain Cook (The Endeavour had been the ship Cook sailed to Australia in 1770),” Jackson said.

“I said, ‘Yeah, Barass, he was the bastard that pinched the land off us’.”

Jackson’s joke on a serious subject loosened the mood. He likes to think it played a small role in Carlton’s stunning second-half comeback.

“Some of the guys had a giggle and other blokes started laughing,” Jackson recounted.

“Even Barassi laughed. I think it broke the tension a bit. Maybe it helped us, I reckon it did, anyway.”

Ted Hopkins came off the bench and went on to kick four goals in the second half.

Adamson recalled of the second half: “They (Carlton) were running all over the joint and coming down in waves. I didn’t know whether to run up to meet them or stay back on Syd”.

Carlton swept over the top of a stunned Collingwood, winning a memorable premiership by 10 points.

Jackson was a VFL premiership player and he would go on to win another flag two years later.

This was a second grand final heartache for Adamson, who also played in the Magpies’ one-point loss to St Kilda in 1966.

“You had two chances in grand finals, Syd, and you got two out of two,” Adamson said. “I had two chances and got nothing out of it.”

THE FUTURE

Adamson always admired Jackson’s journey from afar, despite their differences in 1970.

Both dearly love watching the modern wave of AFL Indigenous champions, even if they concede the game — and society — has a long way to go to right the wrongs of the past.

Adamson has become a loving grandfather to four Indigenous children: Keysha (13), Shianne (11), Shyleeka (10) and Steven (8).

“Their mum ... was unable to take care of them,” he said.

“My daughter-in-law Kate is a social worker up in Bendigo and she promised to look after the kids.

“They already had three kids of their own, so the house is active, but they have lots of fun.”

Jackson’s face beams when he hears Adamson’s heartwarming story for the first time.

“That’s just a fantastic story,” Jackson says.

Tears streamed down Adamson’s face.

This wasn’t about what happened to him 51 years ago; it’s about what has happened to Indigenous people across the centuries and what still happens too frequently now.

“I am not angry at Syd; I understand what he did (at the tribunal),” he said.

“But I am bloody angry about what we have done to Aboriginal people in this country.

“We took their land and gave them nothing.

“We never got that history when we were growing up. We only got the white man’s history.

“We have still got a long way to go as a society.”

At that point, Jackson’s hand reaches across the table to shake Adamson’s hand, just as they did before the 1970 grand final.
2017 - 16th
2018 - Wooden Spoon
2019 - 16th
2020 - dare to dream? 11th is better than last I suppose
2021 - Pi$$ or get off the pot

Re: Eddie's Fight Against Racism in Australia

Reply #48
Here is another take,  an incident between Syd and Adamson in 1970
From the HS

Syd Jackson and Lee Adamson were central figures in one of footy’s early race rows. Five decades on, they share their stories
Two men at the centre of one of football’s biggest race controversies have met and spoken about the incident for the first time in half a century. This is their powerful story.
Glenn McFarlane
 and
Mick McGuane
9 min read
August 13, 2021 - 6:00AM

Lee Adamson was a tough, dashing Collingwood defender in the late 1960s and ’70s, who rarely showed outward displays of emotion.

But five decades on from his 96-game VFL career, the 75-year-old was brought to tears at a reunion with Carlton’s Indigenous great Syd Jackson as the one-time adversaries met for the first time since being a part of one of footy’s first big race controversies.

In a tribunal appearance following the 1970 second semi-final between Carlton and Collingwood, Jackson said he had struck Adamson because the Magpie backman had made a racial slur towards him.

Adamson hadn’t.

In Carlton’s desire to beat the charge and keep Jackson’s finals hopes alive, then Blues president George Harris instructed him to present an “extreme provocation” defence — even if it wasn’t true.

Jackson, now 77, has unquestionably encountered all manner of racism throughout his life and during his football career, but not in this instance, and never by Adamson.

It would take more than 20 years for Jackson — one of the AFL’s most revered Indigenous leaders and an Indigenous Team of the Century member — to correct the wrong, saying Adamson hadn’t racially vilified him.

It was only recently, just before Melbourne’s lockdown, that the two players were reunited by the Herald Sun and Jackson was able to finally apologise to Adamson in person.

While Adamson has never wanted to dwell on the incident, and doesn’t blame Jackson for what happened, the reminders have never been far away.

Even when Collingwood’s Do Better Report into “systemic racism” at the club was leaked earlier this year, he had to defend himself when one media organisation erroneously stated that he had racially abused Jackson.

He wrote to the organisation to right the wrong, but never received a reply or a retraction.

But Adamson’s tears when he met Jackson recently were about injustices far more important than his own.

Four of Adamson’s 11 grandchildren are Indigenous, and he wants them to grow up in a world where they don’t have to experience what Jackson has had to endure in his journey.

EARLY YEARS

Adamson grew up in a loving family in Greensborough, on the outskirts of Melbourne, with his dad a local footy legend and his mum “a feminist before her time”.

Jackson doesn’t know his actual birthdate, doesn’t know his real birth name, and he never really knew his parents — camel trainer Scotty Tulloch and his partner Amy — or his older sisters Marjorie and Jean.

He saw his sisters again many years later, but they met almost as strangers.

Born near the gold mining town of Leonora in Western Australia, Syd was one of the Stolen Generation, taken from his family when he was only three years old.

“I was thrown on a truck,” Jackson explained. “I was going down town to have an ice cream and the truck just kept going.”

Jackson was moved about on several occasions before he ended up at Roelands Mission, near Bunbury, where he remained until he was old enough to leave at 15.

It was almost “slave labour”, with the children forced to work for hours before and after school.

“You would be out of bed at six in the morning, milk the cows, feed the pigs and you would also do the cooking and housework,” he said.

Footy was Jackson’s release.

“The mission kids loved it,” he said. “The town kids … couldn’t catch us … barefoot and all.”

Jackson made his senior debut for South Bunbury at 16 and within a few years he was playing with East Perth in the WAFL, winning the club’s 1966 best-and-fairest.

He was invited to join Carlton in the VFL, even if he couldn’t get a clearance in his first year in Melbourne. That meant he was the team’s runner in 1968, when the Blues won the premiership.

In 1969, the highly-skilled Jackson burst onto the VFL scene as the competition’s only Indigenous player that season, with the kids left behind at Roelands tuning in on the radio to listen to his exploits.

THE INCIDENT

Adamson was in his fifth VFL season with Collingwood when he played on Jackson the first time — in Round 8, 1970.

“I remember because he was cutting us up,” Adamson recalled.

“I was a verbaliser, that’s the way I played. I would be saying to Syd: ‘Are you going to get the ball or are you going to hang out?’. I did it to everyone. If someone whacked me, then I got whacked.”

But Adamson’s verbalising was never about race.

The incident that would forever link the pair came in the 1970 second semi-final.

Carlton captain John Nicholls took a mark just outside the goalsquare, but the ball spilt free.

Jackson went to pick it up when Adamson threw his boot out at his opponent’s outstretched hands.

“He went to pick it up and I went bang,” Adamson recounted. “I gave him a little touch up on his hand, which wasn’t very nice.

“So he clipped my jaw and I went down like a bag of s---.”

Jackson added: “It was just a spur of the moment thing and I was reported for it.”

Collingwood won the game by 10 points to advance to the grand final. Jackson had been reported for striking, and Adamson for charging him in an earlier incident.

Their next showdown would be at the tribunal.

TRIBUNAL

Harris and the Blues knew if they could plead provocation, they could potentially save Jackson’s season.

“Carlton made up a story that I was provoked,” Jackson said. “It wasn’t anything against you, Lee, but they were very concerned I would miss (the grand final).”

“(Harris) said to me to say (Adamson) called me ‘a black bastard’. I was at the tribunal and they (the Blues advocate) said: ‘Syd, did he (Adamson) refer to the colour of your skin?’. I said, ‘yes, yes, yes’.”

Adamson and Collingwood were not happy he had been wrongly accused of making a racist comment.

“I knew I hadn’t racially abused Syd,” Adamson said. “I’ve never been a racist.

“They pulled a story to get him to play in the Grand Final. He (Harris) was a cunning bloody bloke. I didn’t like George much anyway.”

Five decades on, Adamson doesn’t hold the incident against Jackson, although he has previously said he despised Harris.

“If I had been in the same spot as Syd, I probably would have gone to any lengths to play in a grand final, too,” Adamson said.

“I copped it a bit (after the tribunal hearing). I would always be reminded of it over the years. But I knew that my mother and father brought me up the right way.

“They always said race, colour and religion never mattered. That’s how I’ve always lived.”

As much as he still harbours some guilt, Jackson believes if he hadn’t been told to go with Harris’s ruse, he might have been suspended and missed the grand final.

“I got a sympathy vote,” he said.

Both players were cleared, but the stigma stuck with Adamson.

Jackson went on to kick six goals in a blistering performance against St Kilda in the preliminary final.

A rematch with Collingwood — and Adamson — beckoned.

1970 GRAND FINAL

Jackson can still reel off the exact crowd number of the 1970 grand final crowd — 121,696 — like someone else might reel off a phone number.

It remains the greatest attendance at a VFL-AFL match and was one of the most famous premiership playoffs.

Adamson shook hands with Jackson before the start of the game, but neither said a word to each other.

“We shook hands and that was it, we just played,” Jackson recalled.

“To both of our credit, there was no hijinks. We had been through that (tribunal) stuff,” Adamson said.

“You didn’t want to do anything stupid and have to live with that for the rest of your days.

“I tried to stop him from kicking a goal, which I failed at, because he kicked one and he gave another off (to Ted Hopkins).”

Collingwood’s Do Better report into claims of “systemic racism”, released earlier this year, cited a moment in the game when Jackson was booed by Magpies supporters.

The report referred to a Channel 9 commentator who said: “I don’t like this crowd booing. Bad sportsmanship from Australians to boo on an occasion like this because this fellow (Jackson) is a coloured man, we know, but he is entitled to every bit of respect that anybody’s allowed.”

Jackson says if there was booing that day … “I don’t think they were booing me.”

“I don’t know whether it was just me or whether it was directed at Carlton.

“Anyway, booing in general used to just fire me up even more.”

HALFTIME ENDEAVOUR

Collingwood led by 44 points at halftime, or as Adamson puts it, “by six goals eight”.

That referenced the Magpies’ wayward kicking for goal, even if they looked to have the game well within their grasp.

As champagne corks were being popped by eager Collingwood supporters, there was plenty of action in the Carlton rooms.

Blues coach Ron Barassi was about to turn the game — and the code — on its head, urging his players to “handball, handball, handball” and to take risks.

Jackson recalled the master coach trying to emphasise three key points: “Endeavour, encourage and enthusiasm.”

“‘Barass’ said, ‘How am I going to explain this to you, Syd? Endeavour, it’s like Captain Cook (The Endeavour had been the ship Cook sailed to Australia in 1770),” Jackson said.

“I said, ‘Yeah, Barass, he was the bastard that pinched the land off us’.”

Jackson’s joke on a serious subject loosened the mood. He likes to think it played a small role in Carlton’s stunning second-half comeback.

“Some of the guys had a giggle and other blokes started laughing,” Jackson recounted.

“Even Barassi laughed. I think it broke the tension a bit. Maybe it helped us, I reckon it did, anyway.”

Ted Hopkins came off the bench and went on to kick four goals in the second half.

Adamson recalled of the second half: “They (Carlton) were running all over the joint and coming down in waves. I didn’t know whether to run up to meet them or stay back on Syd”.

Carlton swept over the top of a stunned Collingwood, winning a memorable premiership by 10 points.

Jackson was a VFL premiership player and he would go on to win another flag two years later.

This was a second grand final heartache for Adamson, who also played in the Magpies’ one-point loss to St Kilda in 1966.

“You had two chances in grand finals, Syd, and you got two out of two,” Adamson said. “I had two chances and got nothing out of it.”

THE FUTURE

Adamson always admired Jackson’s journey from afar, despite their differences in 1970.

Both dearly love watching the modern wave of AFL Indigenous champions, even if they concede the game — and society — has a long way to go to right the wrongs of the past.

Adamson has become a loving grandfather to four Indigenous children: Keysha (13), Shianne (11), Shyleeka (10) and Steven (8).

“Their mum ... was unable to take care of them,” he said.

“My daughter-in-law Kate is a social worker up in Bendigo and she promised to look after the kids.

“They already had three kids of their own, so the house is active, but they have lots of fun.”

Jackson’s face beams when he hears Adamson’s heartwarming story for the first time.

“That’s just a fantastic story,” Jackson says.

Tears streamed down Adamson’s face.

This wasn’t about what happened to him 51 years ago; it’s about what has happened to Indigenous people across the centuries and what still happens too frequently now.

“I am not angry at Syd; I understand what he did (at the tribunal),” he said.

“But I am bloody angry about what we have done to Aboriginal people in this country.

“We took their land and gave them nothing.

“We never got that history when we were growing up. We only got the white man’s history.

“We have still got a long way to go as a society.”

At that point, Jackson’s hand reaches across the table to shake Adamson’s hand, just as they did before the 1970 grand final.


I remember that history vividly.  Odd how things stay with you.