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Adam Goodes Has A Message For Critics As He Retires

A portrait of Adam Goodes performing an Aboriginal war dance is a powerful end to a stellar career.

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Adam Goodes has taken a parting shot at his critics by selecting the moment he performed an Aboriginal war dance as his official retirement portrait from AFL.

'The Dance' by Jamie Cooper.

The oil portrait called 'The Dance' was painted by Jamie Cooper who told Fairfax Media that Goodes was adamant that the war dance, which he performed during the Indigenous Round earlier this year, should be preserved for posterity.

"He had a pretty good idea that when it all dies down, in the years to come, that image will be remembered, for all the right reasons," Cooper said.

"He said that was a really defining moment for him. He was really committed all the way through."

Goodes performed the war dance in May after scoring a goal against Carlton. It sparked heated debate between high profile non-indigenous commentators who thought the display was aggressive.

Sydney Swans

Goodes had been the subject of racial taunts and continuous booing since 2013 when he was called an ape by a 13-year-old spectator.

In July, Goodes was subjected to so much booing throughout a game with the West Coast Eagles that Aboriginal teammate Lewis Jetta did a war dance toward the crowd. Two West Coast supporters were evicted from the grounds, one of them yelling that Goodes should, "go back to the zoo."

Following the incident, Goodes, a dual Brownlow Medallist took time off, returning for two games before retiring last weekend.

Goodes stepped away from the game and declined to do a lap of honour and refusing to give interviews.

Goodes played 372 games, the eighth highest of any player and the most games for an Indigenous player.

Cooper told Fairfax Media that the portrait, which shows Goodes mid-air with hands raised and clutching an imaginary spear, is the most important work of his career.

Don't miss this chance to own a unique piece of memorabilia - The Dance by Jamie Cooper:

There are 372 prints of 'The Dance' for sale, one for every game Goodes played. The original life-sized portrait was bought by the Sydney Swans and will be hung at the SCG.

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Formerly with BuzzFeed News, Allan Clarke is a NITV reporter based in Sydney.

Contact Allan Clarke at

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