Northern Territory senator Nova Peris has lashed out at critics of Adam Goodes saying she's "shocked but not surprised" at the negative reaction to the AFL player's post-goal Aboriginal war dance on the weekend.
The Labor MP, who is also a two-time Australian Olympian, told BuzzFeed News on Tuesday the hysterical fall-out from Goodes' dance can be put down to basic assumptions people have about indigenous athletes.
"All Adam Goodes has done is think for himself. That's what scares people. The negative reaction to this stems from the assumption that Aboriginal athletes must be compliant with society's view of how they should behave" she said.
"The reaction to his dance is shocking, but I'm not surprised."
The most prominent voice against the player's "war cry" was Channel Nine personality Eddie Maguire who said Goodes should have informed the AFL beforehand, "(so) we could have been able to educate and understand the situation."
"This is a made-up dance, this is not something that has been going on for years," said Maguire on the Today show on Monday.
Maguire, who last year was in hot water for making a joke about Goodes appearing in a theatre performance of King Kong, was dismissed from large sections of the media and the AFL, including Sydney Swans chairman Andrew Pridham.
"We're thinking of buying Eddie a Ronan Keating CD - you say it best when you say nothing at all," he said according to Fairfax Media.
Peris called Maguire's criticism short-sighted and said media commentators should "learn and understand what he has done."
"Adam Goodes is a proud Aboriginal man, playing in the Indigenous round, playing a game that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have done so much for. I don't see why all of this is so controversial," she said to BuzzFeed News.
The Labor senator said indigenous athletes have been recognising their history and culture for decades. She mentioned the time she decided to run around Uluru barefoot with the Olympic torch in the lead-up to the 2000 games.
"This was seen for what it was, a recognition of my history and culture. When I was sworn into the Senate, I wore ochre on my face. This was in recognition of the history of my people, nothing more.
"Adam Goodes is showing the same respect for the history of our people."