In a show of support and respect for AFL champion Adam Goodes, Hawthorn players will wear the number 37 on the back of their warm up guernseys ahead of their Round 14 clash with Sydney.
A documentary released earlier this month, titled ‘The Final Quarter’, details the discriminatory treatment Goodes faced in the twilight of his career, ultimately driving him away from the game.
According to Shaun Burgoyne, the playing group decided on the initiative as a public show of support for the dual Brownlow Medallist.
“With Adam’s documentary coming out, it was a good chance to reflect on where we are as an industry and where we’ve come from,” Burgoyne said.
“On reflection, clubs and players have come out and admitted that at the time, our response wasn’t good enough.
“Obviously we can’t turn back time, but as we’re playing Sydney in Sydney this Friday night, we thought it was a perfect opportunity to show our support for Adam publicly.
“We want to show that we’re all beside him, united in stamping out racism.”
The AFL and all 18 clubs recently issued a statement apologising to Goodes, saying the game failed to do enough to support him.
“Failure to call out racism and not standing up for one of our own, let down all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players, past and present,” the statement read.
“We pledge to continue to fight all forms of racism and discrimination, on and off the field.”