Over the following years, and particularly in 2015, Goodes was repeatedly and loudly booed by opposition fans at most matches. The motivation for, and acceptability of, the booing generated wide public debate, which dominated media coverage from both sports and political commentators for weeks at a time. Even then Prime Minister Tony Abbott commented, calling upon people to treat Goodes with “civility and respect”. Many considered the booing to be unacceptable and motivated by racism—either because those booing felt affronted by his race or by the strong political positions Goodes had taken on racial issues—and called on the AFL to take direct action to stop it. Others, such as commentator Sam Newman, defended the rights of fans to continue booing as a show of disapproval for Goodes' actions, including a perception that his approach in dealing with the Collingwood fan who called him an ape was heavy-handed, and for statements he had made during his time as Australian of the Year which had been seen to denigrate the history of European settlement of Australia. The booing of Goodes has also been described as a symptom of tall poppy syndrome.