OPINION: Racial abuse is not booing
AS a young country footballer, I played against Ngaku, an Aboriginal rugby league team based in Kempsey in the Group 2 competition.
They were a talented group of footballers who could score tries from anywhere on the field.
Like all teams, we sledged each other on the field and mostly they handed out much more than we dished out.
It didn't matter what we said trying to get an edge over each other, at the end of the game we shook hands and invariably shared a few beers at the local hotel.
We never went too far with our intimidations and I would have no trouble repeating the words today if I was back on the field.
There was never an issue with any Aboriginal footballer in our league claiming he'd been racially abused on or off the field.
The crowds in those days stood just metres from the sidelines and they were keen to let you know exactly what they thought of your lack of talent.
Having come through those years with nothing but respect for Aboriginal footballers, I am now bemused by all this talk about racial abuse.
It seems if you happen to boo a player and he is dark skinned then you are guilty of racial abuse.
What a lot of rot.
Avid sports fan love to have their favourites and their hated.
If you want to sanitise the game maybe we need big signs to be held up telling us when to cheer and when to stay quiet.
The trouble is there won't be anyone at the games to do it.