Outspoken TV personality Sam Newman has spoken out about the life-changing phone call which ended his 35-year partnership with Channel 9.
The former Geelong AFL great announced the split on Friday night, claiming it was ‘mutual decision’.
The 74-year-old has since revealed it was his comments regarding George Floyd that led to his demise with the network.
Daily Mail Australia broke the story that Newman had called Floyd, whose death while in police custody sparked mass Black Lives Matter protests across the U.S. and the world, a ‘piece of sh*t’.
When the call from the network came through at 3pm on Friday, Newman knew the writing was on the wall.
‘The station rang me and said: ”We are getting a bit of blow back from some of your comments” and I said: ”Well, I don’t want to put the station in an invidious position, anymore than I have in the past”,’ he told the Herald Sun.
‘I said: ”I am very happy, if it will solve anything for you, very happy to withdraw forthwith from appearing on the network”.’
He said the network agreed it would be for the best.
‘Whether I beat them to it or they were going to say that anyhow is irrelevant,’ Newman said.
Outspoken TV personality Sam Newman has broken his silence about his rant about George Floyd after he was let go from Channel 9
Newman made comments about Floyd on his podcast ‘You Cannot Be Serious’, alongside fellow footy great Don Scott and journalist, Mike Sheahan
Newman made comments about Floyd on his podcast ‘You Cannot Be Serious’, alongside fellow footy great Don Scott and journalist, Mike Sheahan.
He insists he was talking about Floyd’s criminal record and that people should have focused on condemning police brutality.
He claimed the ‘extravagant language’ used may have gotten his point across in a way he did not intend.
However, he remains firm about his comments about Floyd, calling them ‘absolutely accurate’.
‘George Floyd, who is a piece of sh*t incidentally,’ he began in his rant before his co-hosts attempted to intervene.
‘You know who George Floyd is? He has been in jail five times, he held up a pregnant black woman with a knife, he’s a drug addict, he’s a crack head and he’s a porn star.’
Newman slammed George Floyd (pictured right), the inspiration behind the Black Lives Matter movement, on his podcast ‘You Cannot Be Serious’
George Floyd died under the knee of a Minneapolis cop. His death saw the beginning of the Black Lives Matter movement, which has gone global
George Floyd died after he was arrested on May 25 as officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for eight minutes, despite Floyd complaining he could not breathe.
Newman said George Floyd’s death occurred ‘because of the police brutality’.
‘And it should never have happened, but I’m just telling you who George Floyd is and they’ve made a monument to him and he’s a piece of sh*t,’ he said.
After he was let go from his position at the Nine Network about 3pm on Friday, Newman was not given an ultimatum.
The network’s Director of Sport, Brent Williams, explained to Newman that there was a series of backlash following his comments.
Controversial TV personality and former AFL great Sam Newman (pictured on the Footy Show in 1999) announced his split from the Nine Network after 35 years on Friday night
Both Newman and Channel Nine said the decision to separate had been mutual
Newman did not want to ‘put the station in an invidious position’ which he had done so many times in the past.
He decided to take the high road and suggested that he withdraw from appearing on the network to help solve their issues to which they agreed.
He said the conversation was ‘amicable and pleasant ‘ and called them a ‘terrific employer’.
Newman’s contract was due to expire at the end of 2020 and insists that his withdrawal was not unexpected.
‘It was not unexpected if you are going to have an opinion about things that are out in the public arena and some would view controversial and yet most would think are absolutely reasonable.’
Newman will continue to work on the podcast with his co-hosts saying there are still ‘a hell lot’ of people who agree with his views.
Newman’s (pictured) split from Nine comes after Daily Mail Australia reported the Footy Show host unleashed an extraordinary rant on George Floyd and labelled him ‘a piece of sh*t’
A spokesperson from Nine told Daily Mail Australia the decision had been made ‘mutually and amicably’.
‘Sam Newman has been a part of the football landscape in Melbourne for generations. He enjoyed an illustrious playing career, notching up 300 games for the Geelong Football Club.’
‘We thank Sam for his service with Nine over several decades. His contribution to The Footy Show was paramount to the enormous ratings success the show enjoyed over many years,’ the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said Newman ‘was a master at live television’ who ‘attracted a legion of loyal fans to The Footy Show with his comedic and insightful input’.
Newman joined the network as a panelist on the Footy Show in 1993 and sparked a number of controversies throughout his career.
In 1999, Newman appeared on the show in blackface and impersonated Indigenous footballer Nicky Winmar.
Newman referred to sixteen-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg as an ‘annoying little brat’ and a ‘shit’ in late 2019.
Many Twitter users celebrated the announcement that Newman was no longer partnered with Channel Nine and one commenter said ‘good riddance to bad rubbish’
Another user called for Newman to be banned from TV and radio
He also responded to Jacinda Ardern’s comments on the Christchurch Mosque massacre in 2019 with an extended critique of the New Zealand accent.
Newman recently criticised AFL players for taking a knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
He claimed the gesture at the Richmond Tigers and Collingwood Magpies match was an act of ‘preening’.
Many Twitter users celebrated the announcement that Newman was no longer partnered with Channel Nine.
‘Spin it all you like old man, your use by date was 20 years ago. Good riddance to bad rubbish,’ one user wrote.
‘Sam Newman must be banned from TV and radio,’ another commented.
‘If there was a statue of Sam Newman I would p*ss all over it,’ one user said.
Another commenter asked: ‘Has Sam Newman ever been to reality?’
One Twitter user asked if Sam Newman had ‘ever been to reality’
Another commenter said he would ‘p*ss all over’ a statue of Sam Newman