Sam Newman is launching legal action against the photographer who took an iconic image of AFL legend Nicky Winmar.
Newman, who last month was forced to apologise to Winmar over comments he made suggesting photographer Wayne Ludbey’s ‘anti-racism’ photo wasn’t about the former Saint being black, now claims he was defamed by Ludbey.
Newman claims Ludbey defamed him in a Daily Mail Australia report in June and then again in an article on sports website ESPN.
Sam Newman (left), Mike Sheahan (centre) and Don Scott (right) cast doubt on Winmar’s stance against racism in which he was captured lifting his jumper and pointing at his dark skin – declaring it was really about the club having ‘guts’
Winmar (pictured) and photographer Wayne Ludbey, who captured the moment after a Collingwood versus St Kilda game in 1993, were outraged by the comments made by the three men
Photographer Wayne Ludbey poses with Nicky Winmar during the Nicky Winmar statue unveiling at Optus Stadium in Perth last year
In June, Ludbey lashed out at the three after they made comments on their podcast, ‘You Cannot Be Serious’, claiming Winmar’s stance was really about the club having ‘guts’.
In it, Scott, who was a 300-game veteran for the Hawks in the 60s and 70s, claimed Winmar had ‘dined out’ on Ludbey’s image, which he claimed had been misrepresented in the years that followed.
A furious Ludbey told Daily Mail Australia he had never deviated from his version of events on that day at Victoria Park in 1993, which was reported the following day in the Sunday Age.
‘What I find extraordinary is that 27 years after the act Nicky Winmar is still having to respond to three stooges sitting up in the stalls pelting him about his race, his heritage and him as a person.’
Ludbey claimed the trio knew what they were doing when they brought the subject of Winmar up.
‘It’s a calculated act on their part to attack a black man who they think can’t fight back,’ he said at the time.
Winmar and Ludbey both threatened to sue the men, but it avoided court when they each issued a grovelling apology to Winmar after a gruelling mediation process.
Each of the men signed a formal apology admitting the podcast had ‘damaged Nicky’s reputation’ and confirmed that the picture did in fact capture Winmar standing up against discrimination.
The controversial podcast episode where the comments were made has since been removed and they apologised again in their next episode.
Sheehan subsequently quit the podcast altogether.
In their latest episode, Newman said he had put Ludbey – whom he refers to throughout the podcast as Ludley – on notice.
Newman, Sheahan and Scott attended a six-hour mediation session with Winmar in Melbourne in July and signed an official apology and admitted the comments made during the podcast ‘had damaged Nicky’s reputation’
Winmar said he was happy the issue was resolved and the three men apologised but believed there was more work to be done
‘Wayne Ludley says this: “The trio knew what they were doing, belting him – that’s Winmar – about race, heritage and him as a person.”
‘This is what Ludley said. “It’s a calculated act on their part to attack a black man who they think can’t fight back”. ‘
Newman said Ludbey ‘doubled down’ on the claims in the ESPN report, going even further.
‘He said this: “This is a strategic thing on behalf on them to make money by kicking Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander people because they believe they can’t fight back. There is no grey matter here. They know what they are saying”,’ Newman said.
The former Cats star claimed Ludbey’s comments were a ‘malicious act’ and ‘extremely offensive’.
The mediation and apology came after Newman chimed in on the subject of Winmar’s iconic moment during his ‘You Cannot Be Serious’ with Scott and Sheahan
Scott, who was a 300-game veteran for the Hawks in the 60s and 70s, appeared to be annoyed that Winmar had appeared in recent news coverage wearing a George Floyd t-shirt
While Sheahan, who hosts Fox Footy’s Open Mike on Tuesday nights, acknowledged only Winmar himself would know what the gesture meant, he believed at the time it was about guts, not racism
‘It’s without foundation and it’s defamatory and reckless in the extreme and we will be issuing legal proceedings against him,’ Newman said.
‘So I’m just putting him on notice that he should check his mailbox because we will be issuing him with legal proceedings.
‘Any other people who like to make outlandish comments about us, we’ll put them on notice to. ‘
Newman also called out ABC presenter Julias Zemiro who labelled the three ‘racists’ and called for them to be barred from any public broadcast employment.
‘Make sure you get your facts right,’ Newman warned.
”Because you’ll find yourself getting a writ as well if you’re not very careful and we’ll put her on notice that Mick Sheehan took absolute offence to that and spoke to her, or her contacts, and she took down her tweet.’