Hawthorn star Chad Wingard’s has publicly declared he will no longer be doing interviews with ‘mainstream media’ after becoming dissatisfied with coverage of the George Floyd protests across the United States.
The 26-year-old took to social media on Monday evening, declaring he would temporarily ban himself from doing interviews and vowing to use his own platform more extensively.
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“I don’t trust our media anymore!” Wingard wrote.
“Until things change I wont be doing any interviews I’m not contracted to do!
“I’ll be sharing my own thoughts and content!”
Wingard has been vocal in discussing the effects of police brutality and deaths in custody among Indigenous people in the wake of the George Floyd protests across the US.
Referring to the 2015 death in police custody of David Dungay Jr, who was forcibly restrained face down and uttered ‘I can’t breathe’ with officers on top of him, Wingard said it was foolish to suggest there was no problem with police violence being inflicted upon Indigenous people.
“When people are saying racism in Australia is nothing compared to America, ask any Aboriginal person growing up,” he said.
“Lucky were not america” open your eyes, its every where. We need to work together unite and call it out, being silent is the same as saying its okay https://t.co/WPIZSgiNNq— chad wingard (@chadwingard20) May 31, 2020
“Just because you didn’t see it or it doesn’t affect you doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Our children deserve better and I’m always going to fight for them.”
Since the 1991 royal commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody, more than 400 Indigenous people have died while under police watch.
AFL pundits divided by Chad Wingard’s media rejection
Many AFL pundits were taken aback by the 26-year-old’s stance, with the panel on Channel 9’s Footy Classified sharing mixed opinions on Wingard’s declaration.
While the trio of Kane Cornes, Caroline Wilson and Craig Hutchison were all supportive of the star Hawk’s determination to bring the issue to light, Cornes questioned if it was wise to shun the media altogether.
“My only thing would be if Chad was so strong in his message, I’d like him to do more media, not shut up and shy away from doing media,” Cornes argued.
“Open yourself up, do more media and then get your message across that way.
“I’m not sure it’s going to do any good by shutting up like that.”
Wilson though, suggested the football world would continue to turn without Wingard adding his input.
“You sort of say well look, it’s like saying all footballers you lump them in together, all international media you lump them in together,” Wilson said.
“I think there’d be media going well that’s a bit unfair but he feels strongly about it.
“I don’t think the footy world without a Chad Wingard interview this year is going to be particularly damaged.”