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  1. #16
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    Re: Michael ‘Magic’ McLean opens up on the horrific abuse he was subjected to while playing football

    He was a wonderful and gifted player. I just hate to now know of the incredibly hard journey he had.
    I hope he knows there is still plenty of us who admired how he went about his footy and we all loved him as a player and a person.

    We all need to play our part in not tolerating this sort of behavior in society.
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

  2. #17
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    Re: Michael ‘Magic’ McLean opens up on the horrific abuse he was subjected to while playing football

    Thanks for expressing the thoughts and experiences AP that all sons and daughters of immigrants went through. My father also arrived in Australia in 1951 and no doubt experienced the same sort of treatment, but he never talked about it. For me growing up in West Sunshine, where the were many immigrants from all sorts of backgrounds, mainly European, we were rarely abused as we stuck together and didn't allow that sort of abuse, as the anglos all knew they would cop it.

    These days the African kids have been copping it and before them the Vietnamese so no wonder they lash out, form gangs and stick together.

    However, for indigenous people it has been far worse for them and thank god it is called out these days. I do recall in the 80s people in the crowd having a go at players like Bamblett, and I regret not saying anything or calling them out.

    McClean has done a great thing to bring this to the attention of the AFL and thankfully these days the abuse is very rare.
    FFC: Established 1877

    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

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  4. #18
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    Re: Michael ‘Magic’ McLean opens up on the horrific abuse he was subjected to while playing football

    Quote Originally Posted by angelopetraglia View Post
    I think Nick and others definiltey helped with their comedy. The ability to highlight the differences, take the piss out of themselves and educate the masses about some of the cultral challenges of immigrating to a different coutnry on the other side of the world where people don't speak your language.

    Some of it was also just the passage of time. My parents arrived in Australia in the 1950s. That was a very different time where people were far less tolerant to anyone different. Australia had a "White Australia Policy" until after World War II and Southern Europeans were not considered white! They had a very difficult time and they wanted a different experience for us.

    Towards the end of the 1980s the next generation (children of immigrants) started to make their mark on society and had largely assimilated. This also contributed to changing people's perceptions and tolerance. People were a lot more eductated about Southern Europeans (and also embraced their culture and epsecially their food) and they were not targeted in the same manner.

    Sadly, there were newer targets that were easier prey at that time. Asians ... that even politicians used for political posturing to generate fear (e.g. Howard, Hanson) and those from the Middle East and later again those from Africa. They looked even more different and didn't share some cultural aspects (such as Christianity) which made it even more difficult for them. We are still seeing this play out to this day with what the Sudanese are experiencing. It is a cyle with the newest most different imigrants having the hardest time.

    "To me it highlighted : Hey we are all Aussies here, we have many cultures and that should be celebrated!"

    100%, my parents went out of their way for us to have an enormous amount of gratitude that we lived in this amazing country, we were proud Australians but we were also proud of our heritage. That is probably what hurt the most looking back. We considered ourselves to be Australians but there was a sterotype back then that to be "Australian" meant to be Anglo. There was lots of casual racism without any bad intent but it would still hurt. People would ask "What is your background", "What is your nationality", "Where are you from". It made me scream inside. I just wanted to fit in. I wanted to belong. My inner voice would say. "I'm *!*!*!*!ing Australian. I was born in Melborne you idiot. Just beacause I'm not Anglo doesn't mean I'm not an Aussie. I love this country". But you would just nod politely and tell people that your heritage was Italian and that your parents were born in Italy.

    There are still elements of casusal racism (from older people) but it has largely dissapeared for "Wogs" in large urban areas.

    p.s. The small amounts of exposure I had to racism really hurt. It cut deep. But "Wogs" didn't even cop 5% of what indigneous Australians or those with darker skin got. I understand a little of how it feels, but really have no idea of the pain and suffering that they would have endured just playing the game they loved.
    Thanks for taking the time to answer in such detail. Really appreciate it.
    You write so passionately it really hits home when taking it in.
    I just don't get racism, it drives me mad.
    Retired from match day thread - Sep 2021 (Sometimes)

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  6. #19
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    Re: Michael ‘Magic’ McLean opens up on the horrific abuse he was subjected to while playing football

    Quote Originally Posted by bornadog View Post

    These days the African kids have been copping it and before them the Vietnamese so no wonder they lash out, form gangs and stick together.
    I get you're coming from a good place but this is a weird thing to put in considering the thread is all about the effects of racism and how minorities cop unwarranted abuse.

    Also thanks everyone who has contributed their own experiences. I've been lucky to never experience racism directed at me and its very sobering to read what others have been through.
    I should leave it alone but you're not right

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  8. #20
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    Re: Michael ‘Magic’ McLean opens up on the horrific abuse he was subjected to while playing football

    Quote Originally Posted by soupman View Post
    I get you're coming from a good place but this is a weird thing to put in considering the thread is all about the effects of racism and how minorities cop unwarranted abuse.
    I don't think it is weird at all. I am not saying it is the sole reason gangs are formed, what I am saying is when people are racially abused, they prefer to stick together with their own kind as they feel safer.
    FFC: Established 1877

    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

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  10. #21
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    Re: Michael ‘Magic’ McLean opens up on the horrific abuse he was subjected to while playing football

    Quote Originally Posted by bornadog View Post
    I don't think it is weird at all. I am not saying it is the sole reason gangs are formed, what I am saying is when people are racially abused, they prefer to stick together with their own kind as they feel safer.
    I think what you might be missing is the racial connotation around the word 'gang'. If 5 black teens are together they're a gang. 5 white kids and its a group

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  12. #22
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    Re: Michael ‘Magic’ McLean opens up on the horrific abuse he was subjected to while playing football

    Quote Originally Posted by hujsh View Post
    I think what you might be missing is the racial connotation around the word 'gang'. If 5 black teens are together they're a gang. 5 white kids and its a group
    Well it wasn't meant that way, and shouldn't be met that way, but I take your point.
    FFC: Established 1877

    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

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  14. #23
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    Re: Michael ‘Magic’ McLean opens up on the horrific abuse he was subjected to while playing football

    Quote Originally Posted by bornadog View Post
    Well it wasn't meant that way, and shouldn't be met that way, but I take your point.
    Yeah I understand. I don't think anyone felt you meant it that way. We're familiar enough with you after 50,000,000 posts

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  16. #24
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    Re: Michael ‘Magic’ McLean opens up on the horrific abuse he was subjected to while playing football

    Quote Originally Posted by angelopetraglia View Post
    The level of racism in the crowd was high back in the day. I was hyper aware of it and probably a little too sensititve to it.

    Both of my parents were born in Italy but migrated to Australia as young children and they did all of the their schooling here. We used to go to the football every week and my memory is reasonable from the mid 80s. We would go home and away. My Dad would take us everywhere, Vic Park, Ardent Street, Windy Hill, Kardina Park, Princess Park etc. Standing or sitting in the outer at some of those grounds was not for the faint-hearted.

    We copped abuse in the crowd so many times I lost count (just your standard "Wog" and "You should be at the soccer" and sometimes a lot worse). It was almost a weekly occurance and that includes when I was a young boy. It definitely improved after the stance that Michael Long took. It didn't go away but the momentum shifted. Rather than just cop it, you would call it out or others in the crowd would call it out. It still took a long time to be completely eliminated.

    I'm so glad my son has not had to experience any of that except for one incident at the MCG against Collingwood on a Friday night but he was too young at the time to understand the context of what was said. Collingwood supporters and booze isn't a good mix

    A couple of memories:

    -I was 12 sitting in the EJ Whitten stand for one of the most famous last rounds in history, 1987. Footscray was playing Melbourne. I can recall Sean Wight copping so many Irish taunts that day. Some of it was really nasty too. He was obviously white (pardon the pun) but he was still different and the crowd siezed upon that. It was just seen an acceptale thing to do. It was absolutely relenteless. I'm not sure why that is the main thing I remember from that day.

    -Libba used to cop a fair bit of racial abuse too. I always used to have a chuckle as one minute they would throw out "your just a dirty wog Libba" and the next minute they were jumping for joy screaming "Roccccaaaaaaa!!!!". As I got older I would call out their nonsensical behaviour which sometimes didn't end well.

    -In what was probably the last time Melbourne played at the Western Oval in 1995 I recall once incident where a female Melbourne supporter (there with her family) racially abused my brother and I standing on the Doug Hawkins wing. We were a little older by this stage and the Long-Monkhurst incident had happened earlier in the season. We called it out in pretty agressive manner and she started crying as she realised what she had done (I'm sure it was just a basic instinct for many people). To her credit she apologised about 30 minutes later and then left.

    -A few years later in the late 1990s at Waverley Park something similar happened. We were playing the Saints. A father at the football with teenage daughters abused us. This time we didn't need to even call it out as his daughters did. He apologised. It probably highlights how quickly things changed after the Michael Long stance.

    I for one will be forver grateful for those that had the courage to stand up and call out the racism in our game. I can still recall when Long called out Monkorst's behaviour that there were many people still saying that it is only words and what happens on the ground is different. Kudos and a massive thanks to Long, Winmar, Goodes and all the others who paved the way to a much safer place for the next generation.
    Ripper post love it. Sadly the "why don't they just get over it" crowd are still around in droves. Hell, there's some on this board.
    "It's over. It's all over."

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