'Living in a cave': AFL great slammed over 'ignorant' comments about female footy

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

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.’

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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.

Billy Brownless has been slammed for his controversial comments. Image: Channel 10

“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.”

Billy Brownless with daughters Lucy and Ruby at the Emirates Marquee on Stakes Day in 2017. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

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.

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.