Former footy great Sam Newman has launched yet another extraordinary attack on First Nations people – this time taking aim at AFL great Adam Goodes.
Newman hit Melbourne radio on Thursday, a day after encouraging Australians to boo the ‘welcome to country’ ceremony before AFL matches.
Speaking to 3AW’s Tony Jones, Newman insisted it was the AFL’s fault fans booed Goodes in ugly scenes the AFL great claimed prematurely ended his career.
Sam Newman has doubled down on a rant calling on Australians to boo the welcome to country
Adam Goodes was booed by fans weeks before he made the now infamous ‘spear throwing’ gesture
Nicky Winmar bares his chest to Collingwood supporters in 1993 in a pose that has become iconic for his stance against racism
The 77-year-old insisted Goodes was not booed because of his skin colour and suggested no Indigenous AFL player had ever been booed because of his race.
During the interview, Jones asked Newman point-blank: ‘Are you a racist?’
Newman stuttered in response, ‘Now… what a… No, no, please…’
Jones clarified: ‘I think there would be people listening to this at the moment with an open mind that would want me to ask that question.’
Newman said: ‘Please… now you tell me what you think a racist is besides saying me.
‘Who have I vilified? I don’t think you know what racism is. Racism is about hate primarily and it’s if you defile, decry or degrade someone, think you’re superior than them or try to dominate them. It’s the most overworked word in the English lexicon at the minute .. you tell me why anything I’ve said and what I’ve done is anything to do racism.’
In 2015, Goodes had been booed for weeks every time he neared the ball before the jeers reached the next level upon him performing the now infamous ‘spear throwing’ gesture at a young fan.
‘Adam Goodes was booed because he pretended to throw a spear at the Carlton cheer squad after the Swans were beating them by 10 goals at half-time and wondered why people … people get booed on the football field, not because of their skin colour, but because of things they do,’ Newman said.
‘I know that, everyone knows that. Then the AFL waded into this … and said “please don’t boo Adam Goodes”. That’s like red rag to a bull.’
Newman then launched into another tirade involving former Saints great Nicky Winmar, who famously pointed to the colour of his skin while being racially abused in the 1990s by Collingwood fans.
Winmar had previously called out Newman and his podcast mates for suggesting his stance was about ‘guts’ rather than racism.
‘The very great majority of the people at the game thought it wasn’t about (racism). It was about something about his weight. About being overweight,’ Newman told Jones.
‘We discussed that, and we got charged with vilification for daring to discuss a very, very public matter. And you know who instigated it? (AFL CEO) Gil McLachlan and his little lawyer friend.
‘They took us to the cleaners and charged us and fined us $100,000, and you wonder why we get thrown under the bus just to appease McLachlan’s white … I don’t know what he did it for, but he should be ashamed of himself.’
Newman told Australians to boo the traditional ceremony (pictured) not just at the grand final, but any time it is performed
Sam Newman has a major gripe with the AFL over its inclusion of the welcome to country ceremony before games
Newman had appeared on the program to again pour scorn on the welcome to country ceremony.
He insisted he was not attempting to incite violence against First Nations people.
‘We like to go to the football and watch the game without being told to vote for the gay marriage proposal, which is fine, without being told to vote for the Voice – I know (the AFL) has retracted their direction to vote yes for the Voice. Why do they get involved?’ he said.
‘I’ll tell you. It’s an absolute hoax. It’s a rort. Welcome to country. Why do we have to be welcomed to the country we live in? Why is that? It is just a mark of division. The people who welcome you to country get a nice stipend out of it. Why do they charge to have it? It is just a rort.’
Newman described his podcast rant as a ‘provocative, tongue in cheek request’ to Australians to reject the welcome to country.
When challenged about the perceived backflip, Newman stood by his comments, telling Jones he would boo it if he attended this year’s AFL Grand Final.
‘I’m not retreating from anything,’ Newman said.
Late Indigenous icon Uncle Jack Charles (pictured) was honoured during last year’s AFL grand final – leaving Newman infuriated
Just moments before Newman’s radio spot, firebrand senator Lidia Thorpe appeared on television to brand him a racist.
‘Sam Newman, I’m not sure why he’s even in the news. He’s irrelevant to any debate of the time,’ she said on The Today Show on Thursday morning.
‘It’s about peace. The whole message behind it is respect.
‘Sam Newman is not a respectful man at the best of times. He needs to educate himself and not be so racist all the time.’
The program’s host Karl Stefanovic then asked Ms Thorpe to comment on suggestions there were ‘too many’ Welcome to Country ceremonies.
‘I think it’s up to the traditional owners themselves and the event. It’s important for people to understand the land they’re on and the stories behind that,’ she said.
‘I don’t think there’s too many, I think the stories that are told are important for this country to be able to mature and come together.’
The editor of Stellar Magazine, Sarrah Le Marquand, also weighed in, saying Newman needed to ‘get over it’.
‘There’s 525,600 minutes in a year, we can afford to give up a couple of minutes to sit through a Welcome to Country and respectfully listen and honour the people that that might actually mean something to,’ she said.
Sam Newman has been clear on his thoughts about the welcome to country
Newman lit the fuse on his podcast You Cannot Be Serious with co-host Don Scott.
‘What about this, next time you go to a public event like the grand final or a football game or any public event in an auditorium and they trot out the welcome to country, start booing … or slow hand clapping,’ he told his audience.
Newman said there were many First Nations Australians that shared his views on the ceremony.
‘There’s so many people who say it and I keep saying it’s just a push for reparation and financial power. It is, and I’m saying, the next time you go to a football game, a final, and they trot this nonsense out just start booing and that’ll stop (it),’ he said.
‘The AFL should be absolutely horse whipped for whipping people into a frenzy about it. Patronising their whiteness by thinking they can virtuously cast off all their sins on us.
‘Honestly and truly, it’s got to stop because this has divided the country more than anything. We want to be one group of people living together and respecting one another, Don. Start booing or slow hand clapping or something.’