Sam Newman has lashed out at the treatment of Eddie McGuire following the AFL identity’s decision to step down as Collingwood chairman with immediate effect.
McGuire had always planned to quit his position at the end of the 2021 season, but fell on his sword on Tuesday following widespread backlash of his response to a finding of ‘systemic racism’ at Collingwood.
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‘WEAK AS P*SS’: Teammate's bombshell claim against Lumumba
McGuire initially declared the release of last week’s Do Better report as a “proud and historic day” for Collingwood.
But in an emotional statement to the media on Tuesday, the outspoken media personality said continuing in his role was “not fair” or reasonable for the club or the community.
“People have latched on to my opening line last week, and as a result, I have become a lightning rod for vitriol - but worse, have placed the club in a position where it is hard to move forward of our plans with clear air,” the 56-year-old said.
Defending his mate and former Footy Show co-panellist, Newman expressed similar sentiments in an angry rant on Tuesday evening.
“It is an absolute disgrace what is happening to Eddie McGuire,” Newman told FIVEaa radio in Adelaide.
“Eddie McGuire is a great person, a great member of our community here in Melbourne, and in fact, he’s a great Australian.
“He might have erred like everyone might have erred, but he’s tried his heart out to rectify what has gone on at that club.
“It is completely unfair what they’re doing to him, and they should be ashamed of themselves.
“Why would you single him out? He has tried his hardest. He has set up Indigenous foundations at that club.
“This has nothing to do with racism … he is being condemned absolutely unfairly by all and sundry, because they think it’s a great, politically-correct, point-scoring opportunity.
“They’re invested in chaos and division.”
Sam Newman reveals twist in Lumumba furore
Former Collingwood defender Heritier Lumumba first raised the alarm on concerns of racism at the Magpies in 2013.
He has since launched legal action against his former club, claiming he was nicknamed “Chimp” during his time at Collingwood.
While some former teammates have confirmed they heard the nickname being used, others have disputed it.
On Tuesday Newman also took to Twitter to show how Lumumba had referred to himself as “The Chimp” in an interview with the AFL Record magazine.
“What would you make of this?” Newman tweeted alongside a photo of Lumumba’s interview.
What would you make of this? ‘You Cannot Be Serious’, tomorrow podcast. Will discuss. pic.twitter.com/4shxbRNVXI
— Sam Newman (@Origsmartassam) February 9, 2021
The photo also shows Lumumba answered “chimpanzee” to a question “If I were an animal, I’d be …”
However he also answered that his worst trait was “I find it hard to say no”.
One social media user suggested to Newman that Lumumba may have embraced the racist nickname to fit in with his teammates.
“Like he said he was trying to fit in and get along Sam,” they wrote.
“Maybe he even convinced himself he was OK with it. Then he realised he wasn’t OK with it.”
Newman shot back: “You dopey, delusional w***er.”
McGuire’s resignation statement did not mention Lumumba and the 2010 premiership player is yet to address his former president's exit.
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