FOOTBALL brings out the best and worst in us.
AFL clubs, namely Essendon and Western Bulldogs, having to deal with the latest bout of racism from a small minority of fans is extremely disappointing.
As an Essendon fan, I have no problems with the passion of supporters cheering the boys on.
Racism has no place in any sporting arena.
Two incidents from Friday night's clash with the Sydney Swans were a blight on the club's and game's reputation.
Yet again it was Sydney star Adam Goodes, pictured, who was the subject of a racist outburst, not just from an Essendon fan, a member.
Footy fans play key role in stamping out racist calls
Goodes has declared he did not hear the taunt, but other Essendon fans did and they promptly pointed out the culprit to security.
Those fans and the Essendon Football Club are to be applauded for their swift action.
What a pity the Essendon member, aka barracker, did not take the time to think about the indigenous players in his club's line-up.
What a pity the barracker did not think about the indigenous players in his club's line-up
Or has he forgotten about the feats of indigenous players such as Wanganeen, Long, Ryder and many more in the Essendon colours.
During his remarkable coaching reign at Essendon, Kevin Sheedy was a trailblazer in recruiting indigenous players to Windy Hill.
Another incident from Friday's match was the booing from some fans when field umpire Troy Pannell was stretchered off the ground after being knocked out in an accidental collision with Swans' defender Nic Malceski.
Whether umpire Pannell and his colleagues had made some poor calls did not matter. Booing an umpire, especially when they are injured, shows how small-minded some fans can be.
AFL director of umpiring Wayne Campbell summed up the thoughts of many via the AFL website.
"Booing an umpire, we've done that for 100 years, we get that, but if a bloke's been injured, it's just a pretty ordinary act, I would think," Campbell said.
Recruited from Golden Square, Campbell went on to be a key player for Richmond Football Club and captain the Tigers.
He has seen and heard plenty over the years.
But Friday night's response, albeit by a minority, to Pannell's plight was absurd.
Umpire Pannell has family and friends, just as players, coaches, administrators and footy fans do.
My reaction to the fans booing was not of anger, more despair.
It was only last season when many Essendon fans were up in arms about West Coast fans booing Bombers captain Jobe Watson.
Booing a player, usually the best in the opposition team, has gone on for years.
A poor decision by an umpire sparks booing.
No matter how much you have paid to be there, it does not give you the right to say whatever you want at the footy, whether it's Essendon v Sydney, or at a match in any other league.