Veteran AFL reporter Caroline Wilson has called out controversial celebrity Sam Newman for his ‘bitter and divisive’ take on players kneeling before games over the weekend.
Players over the weekend joined forces in taking a knee before the start of matches between Richmond and Collingwood, and Hawthorn and Geelong, in a show of solidarity for the fight against racism.
Following their stance, Indigenous and Carlton star Eddie Betts called out racist abuse aimed at him in a vile image on social media.
Now, Wilson has labelled Newman ‘bitter’ after his controversial comments regarding the Black Lives Matter support after the Richmond and Collingwood clash on Thursday.
Newman, who once dressed in blackface on national television in an attempt to mock Indigenous player Nicky Winmar, suggested players were ‘intimidated’ into taking a knee.
“How long before we stop being intimidated into nodding in agreement and question the REAL motives. The game may be incidental,” Newman tweeted.
“Division, conflict, fury, rage, angst, anarchy, disruption, group guilt, group shaming, acquiescence. Don’t include EVERYONE in the mob mentality, please. AFL is sport!!”
‘Newman did not understand’: Wilson
But Wilson took exception to his comments and called him out for claiming the move was political.
“Sam Newman said that AFL footballers taking a knee to say that black lives matter were preening and divisive," she said on Footy Classified.
"Sam you've got a terrible history in the area of race relations, and you've done it again."— Footy on Nine (@FootyonNine) June 15, 2020
Caro has arrowed Sam Newman for his opinion on the players' Black Lives Matter statement.#9FootyClassified | Watch @channel9 pic.twitter.com/VDFuNvkttJ
"He said most players didn't understand why they were kneeling and had been intimidated into it.
"For what it's worth, I didn't think it was political, I thought it was social and a united move and it was one that united all the players, black and white, and represented a brotherhood that Newman did not understand and therefore tried to belittle.”
Wilson added the rant was ‘bitter and divisive’.
"Sam, you've got a terrible history in the area of race relations, and you've done it again, unleashing a series of bitter and divisive rants,” she added.