Thirteen-year-old says in hand-written letter she did not realise her slur was offensive.
The teenager who started a race row in the AFL’s indigenous round has personally apologised to Sydney Swans star Adam Goodes for calling him an ape.
Julia Surowka, 13, fired the slur at Goodes when he came near the boundary in the final minutes of the Swans game against Collingwood at the MCG.
The two-time Brownlow Medalist immediately turned and pointed the Collingwood fan out to security who escorted her out of the ground.
Speaking after the incident grabbed national headlines and saw an emotional Goodes front a press conference the next day, Julia said she was sorry in a personal letter.
“Dear Adam, it was good to talk to you on the phone. I’m sorry for being racist,” she said.
“I’m the girl who called you the ape yesterday.
“I didn’t mean any harm and now I’ll think twice before I speak. From Julia.
“I’m sorry for calling you racist names and I’ll never do it again,” she said of her conversation with Goodes.
“I’m really sorry for what happened. I didn’t know it would be offensive.”
Goodes explained to the teenager why the word ape was offensive to indigenous people and that he hoped she would learn from the experience.
The Sydney player has earned wide praise for his stance against racism in light of the incident, saying he does not blame Julia for what she said.
Goodes said the furor should be used to teach people that language such as was hurled at him is not tolerated in the AFL or society.
Collingwood president Eddie McGuire, who met with Goodes immediately after the game to apologise on behalf of the Magpies, said they would offer help as well.
“We’ve organised counselling services for her, her friends and family and we won’t be abandoning her,” McGuire said.
“We want her to know it’s side by side we stick together. You made a blue, but we all do. We’re a forgiving club, and we want to make sure that she feels she can come to the football and help her get through this situation.
“I’m sure Adam Goodes will help us in our pursuits.
“It’s really important, though, that we remember she’s a young girl and not to walk away from education rather than humiliation.”