AFL star rips Sam Newman to shreds
Former Collingwood star Heritier Lumumba has blasted Sam Newman after the footy great and media personality parted ways with Channel 9 following a huge backlash to comments he made about the Black Lives Matter movement.
In his podcast You Can't Be Serious, Newman called George Floyd - the man who was killed in Minneapolis when a police officer pressed his knee onto his neck for nearly nine minutes - a "piece of s***".
Newman said the police treatment of Floyd was "disgraceful" and "should never have happened" but urged people not to put the 46-year-old up on a pedestal because of his criminal history and prior arrests.
The ex-Geelong champion also said AFL players shouldn't be kneeling before games because it was a protest movement that originated in America and has no relevance in Australia.
Ex-Magpies and Melbourne Demons defender Lumumba yesterday accused Newman of not seeing black people as "human", and said the 74-year-old's "bigotry" was the reason he never appeared on the Channel 9 Footy Show, where Newman was a long-time panellist.
"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," Lumumba wrote on Twitter.
"He is one of the reasons why I ALWAYS refused to appear on the footy show.
"Unsurprisingly, Newman's comments re: George Floyd show that (he) doesn't have a clue about what the #BlackLivesMatter is about. ANY black victim of extrajudicial execution by police or vigilantes deserves recognition by the BLM movement, as they are human beings, first and foremost.
"George Floyd's criminal past shouldn't disqualify him from being seen as a human being first. Police aren't conducting background checks before shooting, beating or kneeling on the necks of black people. Why? Because they don't see us as human. Newman doesn't sees us as human."
Lumumba has been vocal in the fight for racial equality, claiming he was subject to "racist jokes" during his 10-year career with Collingwood and ostracised for speaking out against the club's culture.
Newman's comments sparked a wave of criticism as Channel 9 faced pressure to sack him, just days after he returned to the network as part of the Sunday Footy Show.
Newman was a mainstay on the midweek Footy Show since 1994 before farewelling the program in 2018.
"Sam Newman announced today that he would no longer appear on Nine. The decision was made mutually and amicably," a statement from Channel 9 read.
"We thank Sam for his service with Nine over several decades. His contribution to The Footy Show was paramount to the enormous ratings success the show enjoyed over many years."
Earlier in the week after Newman had tweeted about his opposition to AFL players taking a knee, urging them to "stop the preening", veteran AFL reporter Caroline Wilson blasted him for his "terrible history in the area of race relations".
Newman infamously wore blackface on an episode of The Footy Show in 1999 and was forced to apologise to the Indigenous community.
Originally published as AFL star rips Sam Newman to shreds