Adam Goodes has declined an invitation to be inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame, the AFL has confirmed.
AFL chair Richard Goyder, who is on the Hall of Fame selection committee, said the former Sydney Swan notified him earlier this year.
Goyder said the two-time Brownlow medallist asked the AFL not to detail his decision — and the reasons behind it — before this year’s induction event.
The induction event was scheduled for June 22 but was postponed due to the current COVID-19 lockdown in Victoria.
“Adam had asked the AFL to wait before announcing his decision, which has now been made public separately,” Goyder said.
“Adam was clear he did not want his decision to detract from the moment for the 2021 inductees.
“Adam remains a great champion and leader of our game who has given more to our sport than he received in return.”
Goodes’ decision comes after his ugly departure from the league. Since the AFL has apologised over its handling of the persistent booing of Goodes from crowds in 2015.
Goyder reiterated the game’s regret with how they handled the situation.
“The treatment of Adam in his final years at AFL level drove him from football. The AFL and our game did not do enough to stand with him at the time, and call it out,” Goyder said.
“The unreserved apology that the game provided him in 2019 was too late, but, on behalf of our Commission and the AFL, I apologise unreservedly again for our failures during this period.
“Failure to call out racism and not standing up for Adam let down all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players, past and present.
“We hope that there will be a time in the future when Adam will want to be connected to the game again.
“This is a decision for Adam and Adam only, and we understand and respect his choice.”