Sam Newman refuses to apologise for George Floyd and kneeling criticism after Channel 9 exit


Fresh after parting ways with Channel 9, outspoken commentator Sam Newman has admitted he has no regrets and no apologies to give after a string of controversies.

Newman was vocally against the kneeling in first round of the AFL season following the coronavirus suspension, calling on players to “stop the preening”.

He later labelled George Floyd, who’s death sparked Black Lives Matter protests across the world, “a piece of s***” on his podcast You Cannot Be Serious.

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Newman’s comments about George Floyd sparked plenty of controversy as he hit out at protesters.

“George Floyd … is piece of s***,” he said. “He has been in jail five times, he held up a pregnant black woman with a knife, he’s a drug addict, he’s a crackhead and he’s a pornstar.

“He’s dead because of the police brutality and it never should have happened. But I am telling you who George Floyd is, now they’ve made a monument about him and he’s a piece of s***”.

While he also reignited a feud with the Herald Sun’s Caroline Wilson, it appeared enough was enough as Newman and Channel 9 reportedly mutually decided to part ways, “in the station’s best interests” after 35 years.

But speaking on 3AW’s Mornings with Neil Mitchell, Newman said that he may be more controversial in the future.

“I only used to be reticent about some of the things I did because I didn’t want to actually bring the station into too much disrepute,” Newman said on Monday.

“But now I’m not on air any more I feel I can say exactly what I want to say.”

Newman told Mitchell that “was taking a risk speaking to me, you might be cancelled for having me on” and said he hadn’t been on TV in two years, rather doing remote pieces.

However, he said he was unrepentant over his comments, particularly around the kneeling players in round two of the AFL and the George Floyd issues.

“There’s a communal strain of syphillus infecting the grievance brigade and the activists who will not be bothered to listen to what I say, not that I’m whinging, but I’m 100 per cent right on what I said about those two matters that caused controversy,” he said.

“One was about the kneeling – the players before the game. I said ‘I don’t believe they know why they were kneeling’ and this was confirmed by an unlikely ally in a bloke called Joel Wilkinson (former Gold Coast player), who said the AFL was ‘hypocritical’ on the racism stance and the kneeling was borne from George Floyd accusing them of police brutality and inspired by Colin Kaepernick – that’s what I said.

“I make no apology for saying George Floyd is a piece of what I said and I did say it was a disgrace what happened to him — no one mentions that — and the police should be in receipt of the full force of the law for what they did to him. Having said that, why we would eulogise and make a martyr out of him and that’s what I said, I don’t recede from that one iota.”

After a long career of controversies during his time on The Footy Show, Newman added that he was not ashamed by anything he had done in his career, even taking aim at Wilson once again after Mitchell brought up an infamous moment in 2009 involving a picture of Wilson and a mannequin.

He added that if the AFL or any sporting body was serious about dealing with racism, they would have a sign on every jumper that said “say no to racism”.

Mitchell said it’s the type of thing that the 74-year-old would send up, a comment to which Newman took exception to.

“It was my suggestion that if you had a designated size, colour and position on the AFL jumper, you wouldn’t need to have the kneejerk piecemeal reaction to people kneeling before games because it would be on all the jumpers, every time a player went for the ball, it was on television, or they were dressed at the press conference, ‘say no to racism’ and then you don’t need to carry on with all the virtue signalling and nonsense that goes on,” he said.

“Where do you draw the line at people kneeling? What other precedent will be set for any other activist position that you want to take on anything that’s going on in the community?”

Newman said he doesn’t care what people say about him on social media. But as for what’s next, Newman said he was “probably the first to experience the cancel culture in Australia and I’ll probably be unemployable”. But he said he was relaxed about who he is and having an opinion because “we’re being taken for a ride”.

Speaking to the Herald Sun over the weekend, Newman said he received a call at 3pm on Friday afternoon and he said he suggested standing down and said he had a “very amicable and pleasant conversation with them” and that it wasn’t unexpected, having only appeared once in 2020 and his contract expiring at the end of the year.



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