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Goodes against race law change

AAP
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·Goodes honoured

AFL star Adam Goodes is no stranger to racial hate.

The Sydney Swans player made headlines in May this year after he was called an “ape” by a young Magpies fan.

Now he’s shown his opposition to the government’s proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act.

A coalition of more than 150 organisations has written to Attorney-General George Brandis urging him not to amend the act.

And Goodes is supporting the campaign.

“Whether you are on a sporting field or walking down the street, racism and racial vilification have no role to play in our community,” he said.

“It is unacceptable and it causes harm to that person and their family, it cuts to the core of who that person is.”

The government plans to amend section 18C of the act, which forbids remarks that offend or insult others due to race or ethnicity.

Human Rights Law Centre executive director Hugh de Kretser said watering down the laws was giving the green light for racial abuse.

“Current laws prohibiting racial vilification provide essential protection to individuals and communities against racist hate speech,” Mr de Kretser said on Tuesday.

He said federal protections for the act are important as they send the message as to what is appropriate community behaviour.

A group of celebrities including a hip-hop artist and a former Neighbours star has shown their support for protecting the laws.