• Fellow Swans alumni Armstrong and Goodes. (NITV)Source: NITV
The Yokayi host dedicated the show's opening monologue to Goodes, joining a growing chorus of support for the AFL star.
Dan Butler

10 Jun 2021 - 11:25 AM  UPDATED 10 Jun 2021 - 1:35 PM

NITV's Yokayi Footy host Tony Armstrong has delivered an impassioned speech in of support for Adam Goodes, saying that "no awards presented to you can mean more than you mean to us."

Dedicating the show's opening segment to Goodes' rejection of a position in the AFL Hall of Fame, Armstrong was at pains to express just how deep the community's solidarity with the Swans star runs. 

"Adam Goodes called out racism, and the consequences killed his love for the game, so he walked away. And just as we feel when a loved one hurts, our spirit hurts too...

"Brother, if you are watching right now, we love you. More than words could ever express."

Goodes rejection of the offer has reignited the conversation around his departure from the game. In the last 18 months of his career, he was subjected to unrelenting racism, on the field and off. 

The AFL has admitted it did nothing to support Goodes during that time, or to reign in the spectators' racism.

Armstrong noted that Goodes' stellar career, and its terrible end, are remembered in equal measure.   

"He is a legend, an icon and a leader of our people, on and off the field. But these memories are tainted with the pain of how he was treated.

"Adam Goodes called out racism, and the consequences killed his love for the game, so he walked away."

Carlton forward Eddie Betts also spoke out in support of Goodes decision, and reflected on his own experience of racism.

"When I think about every time time I've been racially abused, it cuts me deep. It still hurts to this day, and I think it's gonna hurt for the rest of my life, and I think it's gonna hurt Adam for the rest of his life," Betts told AFL 360. 

"Time can't heal racism."

'Time can't heal racism': Betts defends Goodes' Hall of Fame rejection
The Carlton legend, who has also been a constant target of vile racist abuse, has backed Goodes' decision to brush prestigious accolade.