Billy Brownless has been labelled a ‘Neanderthal’ over controversial comments about women’s footy.
The AFL great is taking part in this year’s edition of ‘I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here’, surviving out in the jungle with some fellow ‘celebs.’
On Wednesday night’s show he was asked by Love Island star Erin Barnett for his “truthful opinion on female footy”, and he certainly put his foot in it.
“I still don’t know if girls should play footy, I’m not sure. I don’t know if they’re built to play footy. Not being sexist or anything,” Brownless said.
“The other things with girls, they get hurt and they haven’t been taught how to protect themselves properly. They run in and, bang, do a collarbone,” he added, mimicking a big collision.
To his credit, Brownless did say he thought things would improve in the future.
“They will learn all that, because now we are seeing girls who actually grew up with football like we did and bounce a footy,” he said.
“You go to games at halftime and there are girls kicking a footy at halftime. You never used to see that.
“I can’t believe how passionate the girls are and they just want to learn.”
Brownless taken to task over comments
However his initial comments went down like a lead balloon, with host Julia Morris saying: “Is it Jurassic Park that I’m listening to? Come, come into the now, baby!”
She then mockingly bumped in to co-host Dr Chris Brown, saying: “Oh, look out for my collarbone!”
Viewers were also highly critical of Brownless’ sentiments.
I love that #BillyBrownless seems to believe that female footy players don’t get trained or taught how to protect themselves. It’s like they’re let off their leashes in the kitchen to just run into each other mindlessly at the weekend! #ImACeleb @ImACelebrityAU @Ladyjmo— Fiona OC🇮🇪🏳️🌈🇦🇺 (@FeefsTweets) January 8, 2020
Jesus Bill. Did you forget you were on TV?— Mr Beanz (@beanz98) January 8, 2020
You're right, Billy Brownless. It's not sexism.— Anthony Hodge 🇦🇺🦁🐴 (@AwesomeAntho91) January 8, 2020
But I will tell you though, it's just pure ignorance. You never know how many women can actually protect themselves today, let alone in a game of women's footy. Thought you would've known better than that, mate. #ImACelebrityAU 🤦🏻♂️ https://t.co/XLoLj3moQx
I mean it's true, i saw an AFLW game where BANG, 27 players did collarbones— Rebecca Hayne (@BeccaHayne) January 8, 2020
I can't as a delicate little lady get to the TV bar I'm bumping into things!
We should totally stick to Brownless approved non collarbone endangering activities
Billy Brownless just peeves off female footballers across the world with his Neanderthal "women aren't built to play football" comment. #ImACelebrityAU— Nic Woods (@Destiny_NYC) January 8, 2020
Brownless, 52, played 198 games for Geelong from 1986-1997, kicking 441 goals.
He made the All-Australian team in 1991 and has enjoyed a number of jobs in the media since his retirement, including a regular spot on the AFL Footy Show.