Sam Newman has entered into a Twitter spat with high-profile Australian celebrities over the controversial AFL broadcaster’s insistence the golf ban should be lifted in Victoria.
In April, the 71-year-old former AFL player demanded an audience with Premier Daniel Andrews after he marched on Victorian parliament to protest the golf ban during the coronavirus pandemic.
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Newman then entered into a war-of-words with Premier Andrews, despite the premier repeatedly shutting down the outspoken AFL figure.
He also drew criticism from his co-hosts on his podcast when Newman claimed he knows as much information about the coronavirus pandemic as the medical experts advising government officials.
Now, the outspoken broadcaster has entered in a Twitter spat with Aussie comedian Andy Lee.
Lee took to Twitter to sarcastically ask: “Does Sam Newman want to play golf or not? I can’t quite tell. He needs to be clearer.”
But Newman immediately responded.
“Wouldn’t you like to play golf if so inclined? What manifestly dangerous risk is associated with this ‘self distancing’ recreation. It’s absurd, Andy,” Newman said.
Wouldn’t you like to play golf if so inclined? What manifestly dangerous risk is associated with this ‘self distancing’ recreation. It’s absurd, Andy.— Sam Newman (@Origsmartassam) May 2, 2020
Not really. Can’t play, anyhow - tendonitis! The ‘principle’, Andy, the principle. Isn’t life lived by that?— Sam Newman (@Origsmartassam) May 2, 2020
I AM doing what the government says. The ‘higher priorities’ are a given. But that’s not what this is about. But you know that.— Sam Newman (@Origsmartassam) May 2, 2020
Lee doubled down, before Newman claimed it was about the ‘principle’.
But Lee hit back and said most important thing was to abide by government guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Yeah, I hear ya. My principle is I’ll do what they say in a crisis as there may be higher priorities for the well being of everyone that the government is working through rather than whether or not I can have a round of golf,” he said.
Newman then claimed: “I AM doing what the government says. The ‘higher priorities’ are a given. But that’s not what this is about. But you know that.”
He then entered into a war-of-words with Australian media personality Mike Carlton, after the commentator labelled him ‘Arguably Australia’s biggest ‘f***wit’.’
Daniel Andrews has NO legal right to ban people from playing GOLF. As long as you ‘self distance’, you can do what you want - LOOK AROUND. It’s a fraud, and a mockery of the quarantine ‘laws’. This IS pathetic virtue signaling. #GolfVic ⛳️⛳️⛳️— Sam Newman (@Origsmartassam) May 2, 2020
Appreciate the re-tweet, Mick.😘— Sam Newman (@Origsmartassam) May 2, 2020
Newman’s battle with Premier Andrews
Dressed in his most colourful golf get-up, the 71-year-old marched on Victorian parliament last week and labelled the blanket ban on golf ‘absolute nonsense’.
Premier Andrews responded to Newman claiming he “didn’t give Sam much thought.”
Newman received support from cricket legend Shane Warne and on the weekend, Newman relaunched at the Victorian Premier.
But Premier Andrews again shut down Newman’s verbal barbs claiming there are more important debates to be had.
“(New York) Governor (Andrew) Cuomo wishes he was having a debate about golf. Many world leaders … wish they were having a debate about golf. They're not, they're having a debate about where the temporary morgues will go,” he said.
Andrews added that Australia’s comparatively low rates of coronavirus cases does make the possibility of rolling back some of the restrictions an option for the future.