Former footy great Sam Newman has launched an extraordinary attack on the AFL after forcing footy fans to endure multiple ‘welcome to the country’ speeches and a eulogy for a ‘heroin-addicted native thug’ during last week’s grand finale.
In a long-winded diatribe, Newman targeted the league for what he described as “virtuous, patronizing nonsense,” even taking the time to insult former transgender coach Dani Laidley.
‘We had the native show of just rubbish. And then, the only thing they didn’t have was that maybe they could have put Dani Laidley in an open car and drive her around halftime in a jeep or something. I mean, seriously,’ Newman moaned.
Sam Newman had a major complaint with the AFL for his ‘awake’ antics before Saturday’s grand final
Life of Indigenous Icon Uncle Jack Charles Honored at AFL Grand Final
Former AFL great Dani Laidley attended the 2022 Brownlow Medal at Crown this month
Outspoken Newman took the opportunity to make fun of the AFL and Native icon Uncle Jack Charles on his podcast, You can’t be seriouswhich he hosts with former AFL star Don Scott.
“The great final day was marred by two things… this patronizing nonsense that we would welcome the original landowners to this land,” Newman began his diatribe.
“Absolutely, we admire and we respect and we thank the traditional landowners for where the game should be played and we recognize that.
“But the virtuous, condescending nonsense that the AFL carries on. A patronizing campaign to fuel this feigned indignation to deviate from their own paranoid white privilege – all they do is drive a wedge between the footballing crowd, but we see through it.”
Newman criticized the AFL for forcing football fans to watch not one, but two welcome speeches before the ball was even bounced.
“We had a man with a beard who came out and told us… where the boundaries of all the different tribes and things go. Just pure propaganda talk about nothing,” Newman said.
“And if that wasn’t enough… then the CEO’s brother welcomed us to the country.”
But Newman saved his biggest spray for Uncle Jack Charles, a prominent figure in NITV’s Yokayi Footy and the voice of the 2022 AFL Finals ad campaign.
Newman said Wayne Carey had more right to be honored in the grand finale than Uncle Jack
Before his death earlier this month, ‘Uncle Jack’ performed a monologue on Yokayi footy celebrating the contribution of the indigenous people as ‘our modern warriors’.
‘And then a man with the cheerful title Uncle Jack. They gave a eulogy to a native man named Uncle Jack, who I don’t think played football at all,” Newman told Scott.
‘Why should you give him a eulogy at the grand final. Why? It’s pure projection on his patronizing nonsense.
‘We had three references to indigenous peoples. Good on them, but I mean how many times did they have to fall over themselves to show that we’re waking up, that we’re enlightened—we don’t need to be told that.’
Newman said he was even more furious when he did some research on Uncle Jack.
“I don’t know why the New York Times went into this… now I’m just reading this: “Jack Charles is one of Australia’s leading Indigenous activists and is the grandfather of Aboriginal theater, but whose heroin addiction and (preference) ) for burglary put him in jail his whole life, died,” Newman mocked.
“So I don’t care what he did, I just want to know why he took every place or every moment in the grand final.”
Newman claimed that disgraced ex-footballer Wayne Carey had more reason to be honored at the grand finale than Uncle Jack.
“And if he was a heroin addict and if he was a criminal, where would someone like Wayne Carey be?
“Wayne Carey, who’s been banned from every AFL job, from every broadcasting obligation — a job he’s had — because he was found with some crushed antidepressants in a nightclub,” Newman said.
“So it’s being transported by rail. He really played football Wayne Carey…he’s been a great commentator and he’s been totally thrown under the bus and yet Uncle Jack Charles – Good on him. And I see he’s getting a state funeral. Good of him.’
Chief Executive Officer of the AFL, Gillon McLachlan, came under fire for being too awake
While Newman said he had no personal grudge against Uncle Jack, he believed he had no business in the grand finale.
“If you could tell me why he took up space at the grand finale after we were welcomed to the country by the CEO’s brother, we had a guy with a beard who told us about the history of where the rivers flow and who they are.” property and where our boundaries are. It’s just virtuous nonsense.’
Newman went on to highlight comments from First Nations people, who themselves have lately been critical of the ceremonies for “causing division.”
“How many times do we have to be told that they should be genuinely ashamed of themselves because all they do is they don’t unite people, they drive a wedge between the footballing public,” Newman said.
“They had a non-binary bond at halftime back then – good for you.. if people like that, then that’s fair enough. So they covered that base.’
Newman is no stranger to controversy.
Last year, he had a crack at a transgender woman who won a hot dog eating contest in the United States.
“You’d think she’d be good at eating hot dogs, wouldn’t you,” Newman said at the time.
He also caused a stir in 2020 after suggesting that an iconic 1993 image of former Saints champion Nicky Winmar was not a stance on racism, but a show of “guts”.