In the case of Goodes, the issue of what constitutes racism can become quite convoluted.
Firstly, there are those will occasionally boo and jeer an opponent, but mostly in good spirits and regard it as a bit of fun. Perhaps part of the notion of making their home ground inhospitable to visiting teams. And usually the player has done something to cause this temporary ire. MOst players cop it on the chin, and put it behind them,
Problem with Goodes, even before we look at the motivation, is that it became a sustained attack, across several games, involving fans and teams with no connection to the original events.
The worst aspect of this, is that the furore was fuelled by idiots in the media. The constant cries that Goodes was a victim of racism, came not from Goodes, but from idiots who should have kept their mouths shut.
The end result, is that Goodes was effectively bullied, in every game he ran out, and not surprisingly he began to take that very personally.
It shouldn't have happened, and its something footy fans should be collectively be ashamed of.
The question of attaching racism to it is vexing. If one kid starts calling another a nasty (but not inherently racist) name like say "stinky", because of his race. That is still racist. If other kids join in, because they think its funny, or because they like to be bullies or for whatever reason we do such stupid things as kids, then even if their motivation is not racist, they are still participating in a racist attack.
(And I'd make the point, one kid calling you stinky because you dropped a fart, is relatively harmless. Everyone calling you stinky, every day, is outright bullying of the worst kind.)
The incident with the young girl, was not the actual trigger.
It was his performance of the "war dance" and as apart of that imitating the motion of throwing a spear.
Yes, we can say that his behaviour was stupid and unnecessarily inflammatory. We can point out that said "war dance" was not cultural, but something made up by a group of kids, and that including the "spear throw" was just plain dumb.
But we can't deny the racial element, especially from Goode's perspective.
And yeah, we have to be careful with the "I didn't boo other Indigenous Players" argument.
I don't have to beat all Asians to be a racist. Simply attacking one person, because he is Asian, constitutes racism.
And yes, racism CAN go "both ways" but its not that simple.
Sure, if a black person hates people just because they are white, that's racism. But believing that white people look down on you because you're black, where there is plenty of evidence that many do, is not racism.
I suppose you could say that if a black person thinks ALL whites are inherently racist, then yes he's a racist. But I seldom hear such a claim. KNOWING that MANY whites are racist, doesn't make him a racist.