News location:

Canberra Today 1°/5° | Monday, May 20, 2024 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

There’s something about Eddie Betts and his kids

Eddie Betts… beloved by AFL fans, especially in Adelaide and Carlton where he gave the best years of his sporting life. Photo: Con Chronis/AAP

“There’s something about Eddie Betts and his kids that takes it beyond the daily dispute between the contending forces,” writes The Gadfly columnist ROBERT MACKLIN

So a bunch of louts in a car shouted vile, racist abuse at Eddie Betts’ kids as they played in their backyard basketball court. So what?

Robert Macklin.

Some will say it’s a storm in a teacup and we should mark it down as just another jibe in the endless argument between those who value Aboriginal Australia against the colonial forces that occupied and transformed the continent. 

That it happened at Easter and supplanted the usual stories of “hope” and “Christian charity” is irrelevant.

Well, maybe so. But I wonder. There’s something about Eddie Betts and his kids that takes it beyond the daily dispute between the contending forces. 

Indeed, regular readers will recall my hope during the Voice referendum when Noel Pearson and Stan Grant lowered their profiles that a figure would step forward and “cometh the hour, cometh the man or woman” to encapsulate the cause. 

Eddie was not one to push himself forward. But since the louts chose him and his family to vent their racist spleen, he is also one never to take a backward step in defence of his children or to fire a shot between the posts. 

He is beloved by AFL fans, especially in Adelaide and Carlton where he gave the best years of his sporting life… and now as a commentator Eddie is an acute and generous judge of his fellow players.

In his own way, he represents the “religion” that really motivates the masses of Australia in the great houses of worship we call the MCG and its other capital equivalents. 

Moreover, it’s not only our own Australian game that draws the faithful. Who could forget the pre-Easter TV broadcast dialogue between old rugby league heroes Andrew Johns and Brad Fittler. 

Johns: “What’s the biblical thing this weekend again?” 

Fittler: “Something about not eating meat on Sunday. Or is it Monday?”

There was a time when all one could find on Good Friday television was a replay of The Robe or an organ recital from some Anglican cathedral. Now at least we get a service of one or other of our footy codes with so many Aboriginal stars in each. 

PM Anthony Albanese desperately wants to bring the Aboriginal people into the constitutional fold on his watch. One way back might well be a small committee of Aboriginal reps from each State – chaired by Eddie Betts – to recommend the way forward. It need not be a great leap to a Voice, but rather a simple incorporation into the constitution at the next election.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton actually promised just such a commitment in the wake of the referendum loss last September, but then walked the proposal back in October when the louts in his own party warned him Albanese might just take him up on it.

But is he really going to side with the creeps who shouted at Eddie Betts’s kids? 

Who can be trusted?

In a world of spin and confusion, there’s never been a more important time to support independent journalism in Canberra.

If you trust our work online and want to enforce the power of independent voices, I invite you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support is invested back into our journalism to help keep strong and free.

Become a supporter

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Robert Macklin

Robert Macklin

Share this

One Response to There’s something about Eddie Betts and his kids

cbrapsycho says: 13 April 2024 at 10:33 am

Of course Dutton will side with the creeps, both to keep his right-wing mates onside for his political survival and also because of his own attitudes.
He doesn’t seem to be able to change his character or his attitudes, repeatedly overgeneralising from a small group of troublemakers to larger groups, entire races and cultures. He wheels out and lives by the stereotypes he attacks to such an extent that he has become one, the hardline Queensland cop who cannot be generous enough or open-minded enough to see beyond his past personal experiences.


Leave a Reply

Related Posts


Untangling the legal threads of life and death

Legal columnist HUGH SELBY says a reader, possibly motivated by a personal tragedy, requested an article explaining “assisting” or “inciting” a suicide. He says that while suicide is no longer a crime, assisting or inducing a suicide is.

Follow us on Instagram @canberracitynews