Wayne Carey has taken an explosive swipe at his former employer Channel 7 after claiming he was "muzzled" by the AFL's free-to-air broadcaster, before eventually being let go by the network. Carey also suggested he was treated unfairly after being sidelined at Seven in the wake of a white powder scandal.
The AFL great featured on special comments for the Channel 7's Friday night matches, before being replaced by AFLW champion Daisy Pearce, who has since shifted to the role on Thursday nights. The move to replace Carey with Pearce sparked a furore at the time, with AFL icons Rex Hunt and Dermott Brereton insisting Carey was the superior analyst.
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Carey was eventually bumped to the Saturday slot from the prime-time Friday night role, but was not offered a new contract by Channel 7 for 2023 after being evicted from Crown Perth last year when a small bag containing a white substance fell from his pocket onto a gaming room table. Carey denied the white powder was an illegal substance and said it was an anti-inflammatory.
The Kangaroos dual-premiership captain - whose media career came to an abrupt end after he was axed by Triple M - has opened up on the drama in a tell-all new podcast project called 'The Truth Hurts'. Carey suggested his media exile in the wake of the white powder scandal was grossly unfair, particularly on his three children.
“Everyone knows why I am out of the media, the so-called white powder saga at Crown Casino... which by the way had nothing in it, which hasn’t been said or even shown a photo of or there hasn’t been a picture of anything,” Carey said. "I had a really emotional period after all that stuff came out in the media.
"People have got to understand that this type of reporting doesn’t affect me anymore, I have built a wall and have built a mask that is almost unbreakable. But who it does affect is my 17-year-old, my eight-year-old, my four-year-old, it affects the mother of those children who I am very, very close with, it affects their families, their aunties, uncles, their nans, their pops.
“It affects all of those people so I sat down and had a really emotional period and thought how can I give my voice to my truth for the first time in my life?”
Wayne Carey bemoans 'political correctness' in 'woke world'
Carey claimed he was already disillusioned with his role at Channel 7 and on the verge of quitting before it became clear that he wasn't in the network's plans for 2023. The seven-time All-Australian said he never felt like he could speak his mind at Seven, claiming it was a result of "political correctness" and the "woke world".
“I thought I would step away from Channel 7 at the start of this year or the end of last year anyway because it really wasn’t something I was totally enjoying,” Carey added. “I knew you could just go there on autopilot, you knew what you had to say... you are muzzled to what you can say, you train yourself to what you should and shouldn’t say.
“Obviously in the new world, the woke world with political correctness which you’re hamstrung by in the mainstream media. This is the first time since I was 16 that I have the opportunity to speak my truth.”
Carey says he plans to speak open and honestly and without the supposed veil of censorship on the new podcast series, alongside co-host and former Channel Nine journalist, Ayrton Woolley. The series is also set to feature regular guests and will touch on the colourful life and scandals surrounding the 272-game AFL great.
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