Sam Newman has spoken out about the 35yrcareer-ending phone call he had with Channel 9 bosses. The former Geelong AFL great announced he had left the network on Friday night, claiming it was a ‘mutual decision.
The 74-year-old revealed it was his podcast rant about George Floyd, that was first reported by Daily Mail Australia that sparked his departure from the channel.
In the rant Newman called Floyd a ‘piece of sh*t. Floyd who died while in police custody sparked mass Black Lives Matter protests across the U.S. and the world.
When Newman got the call from nine network at 3pm on Friday, he revealed he 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,’ he said.
Newman had ranted about Floyd on his podcast ‘You Cannot Be Serious’, alongside fellow footy great Don Scott and journalist, Mike Sheahan.
Newman also received backlash from former Collingwood player Heritier Lumumba.
‘Sam Newman is doing exactly what he has always done. He is consistent with his bigotry, unwavering with his prejudice, and unapologetic with his tone deafness,’ Heritier wrote on Twitter.
Lumumba said Newman’s presence on the Footy Show was one of the reasons he has refused to appear on the program.