'Genuinely ashamed': Channel Nine colleagues turn on Sam Newman

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor
Sam Newman looks on before an AFL match in 2015. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)

A number of Channel Nine employees have turned on Sam Newman, with a petition calling for his sacking also launched.

There are renewed calls for Channel Nine to end their association with the controversial AFL identity after his disparaging remarks about George Floyd on Thursday.

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Newman once again hit out at AFL players for taking a knee before games last week, while also describing Floyd as a ‘piece of sh*t’.

“George Floyd, who is a piece of sh*t incidentally,” Newman said in reference to the 46-year-old’s criminal history.

“You know who George Floyd is? 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 crack head and he's a porn star.

“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 sh*t”.

Channel Nine employees turn on Sam Newman

The comments sparked an angry backlash on social media, with a number of Channel Nine employees among those outraged.

Jim Malo of Domain (owned by Nine), tweeted: “Genuinely ashamed this clown is employed by the same company as me.”

Veteran journo Mike Carlton said: “How much longer will Nine put up with this vulgar, ranting, knuckle-dragging f***wit?”

Meanwhile, Rosie Thomas tweeted to Channel Nine saying: “It’s time to #StandDownSam hate is not commentary and it’s definitely not footy”.

Thomas, a co-founder of the ‘Project Rockit’ movement against bullying, hate and prejudice, also linked to an online petition calling on Nine to sack Newman.

“Channel 9 has given one of Australia’s most prominent racists an unrivalled, paid platform to broadcast his hateful, racist views,” the petition says.

“In pursuit of ratings and profit during a shortened footy season, Channel 9 is banking on racism to make back their advertising bucks. And by doing so, Channel 9 has made itself complicit in fuelling hatred and violence.

“Newman’s hate speech normalises bigotry and emboldens those who seek to do harm to Black people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Muslim people, and others.

“We need your help to show Channel 9 this is the wrong decision. It needs to take responsibility for its role in the spread of hatred, violence, and bigotry.”

The petition calling for Channel Nine to stand down Sam Newman. Image: Supplied.

Nine recently brought Newman back for a weekly segment on the Sunday Footy Show.

He was a long-standing panellist on the midweek Footy Show until it was axed last year.

Mary Konstantopoulos, who runs the Ladies who League website, decried the decision to bring him back.

“Channel 9 announced that Sam Newman was returning to the Sunday Footy Show with his own segment,” she wrote.

“How can we make progress when men like this are in positions of authority?”

There was also plenty of condemnation from other media members and the general public.