A respected journalist has taken aim at Sam Newman over his insensitive remarks regarding one of the AFL’s most iconic moments.
A respected journalist has taken aim at Sam Newman over his insensitive remarks regarding one of the AFL’s most iconic moments.

‘Why do this?’: Newman blasted again

Respected AFL journalist Caroline Wilson has once again put Sam Newman and his co-hosts in the crosshairs after recent remarks made on their podcast.

Newman has never shied away from speaking his mind since hanging up the boots and moving into the media landscape

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His comments in recent times have attracted severe backlash with his remarks regarding George Floyd seeing his longstanding relationship with the Nine Network come to an end.

On the latest episode of his podcast You Cannot Be Serious, ex-Hawthorn player Don Scott, journalist Mike Sheahan and Newman put a spotlight on one of the most iconic moments in the history of the AFL.

Twenty-seven years ago St Kilda's Winmar raised his jumper and pointed to his skin colour in response to racist taunts in the middle of a game at Victoria Park. The moment, captured by photographer Wayne Ludbey, has since been immortalised outside Perth's Optus Stadium.

Nicky Winmar in front of his statue.
Nicky Winmar in front of his statue.

But both Newman and Scott believe the moment wasn't actually in relation to racism, instead saying the point was to his stomach - referencing what a gutsy effort it was from St Kilda.

"Maybe Nicky's dining out on it now about lifting his jumper because I reported on that game at Collingwood," Scott said.

'St Kilda played Collingwood and my recollection was that St Kilda won and Nicky lifted his jumper saying, 'That was a gutsy effort. We have got heart'. Now it's been misconstrued."

Former leading AFL reporter Sheahan attempted to tread lightly around the topic, but said many believed at the time Winmar was referencing guts.

"The only person who knows what he meant is Nicky Winmar. He now says he was pointing to the colour of his skin," Sheahan said.

"Unlike some of the people I work with, I'm going to consider it before I give an answer.

"I was at Victoria Park that day … and I reckon I left the ground thinking he was talking about guts."

Newman added it has since been "morphed" and used by activists as a powerful tool.

"Well done. And then it just morphed into all that other by activists," Newman said.

The comments from the trio have attracted fierce backlash with Wilson saying they have caused great unrest among senior Indigenous people within the AFL.

"In essence Mike Sheahan was less strident about what he thinks Nicky Winmar was saying than Don Scott," Wilson said on 3AW radio.

"The impression you get from listening to that podcast is that Nicky Winmar has been dishonest since about what he was saying.

"I worked with both Mike Sheahan and Wayne Ludbey at the time and I remember the photographer (Ludbey) saying that he heard Nicky Winmar say, and I'm not going to quote him, 'I'm black and I'm proud of it' … something like that.

"I don't remember what Mike said at the time.

"But that was the story that the Sunday Age reported. Nicky lifting the jumper, what Wayne heard and what Nicky said.

"Now you can talk about what Nicky did in the weeks that followed that, you can talk about many elements of Nicky Winmar.

"But that is what Wayne Ludbey heard and I remember him saying it, it's what the Sunday Age reported and this dog-whistling from Sam Newman that he just continues to do. I mean I'm disappointed, Don Scott might have remembered that, but I know this has really upset a lot of senior Inidgenous AFL people.

"They're really upset that this has been put out there. They see it as attention seeking.

"Sam would call it political correctness that I'm even saying this, but I'm just staggered that everybody remembers what Wayne Ludbey reported, said, heard. What Nicky said afterwards.

"Why? Why would you do this at a time when people are feeling so vulnerable across Australia and many Indigenous people too.

"I just don't understand it."

Originally published as 'Why do this?': Newman blasted again


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