'Gutless slur': Legend slams David Koch over 'White Australia' claims

Chris Young
Sports Reporter
Several AFL greats have slammed Port Adelaide chairman David Koch over his comments about Mick Malthouse. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

Collingwood legend Tony Shaw has taken aim at Port Adelaide chairman David Koch, after the Sunrise host labelled former Magpies coach a ‘dinosaur’ over his stance on China.

Malthouse said continuing the AFL’s push to play matches in China, which Port Adelaide has participated in each year since 2017, after the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic would be a mistake.

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Power chairman Koch was rankled by the comments, accusing Malthouse of having ‘zero expertise’ in matters relating to business in China and suggesting the three-time premiership winning coach would bring back the White Australia policy if he had his way.

Malthouse had accused China’s ‘communist regime’ of attempting to cover up the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Shaw, himself a former coach of the Magpies, came to his successor’s defence on Twitter, accusing Kosh of levelling a ‘gutless slur’ at Malthouse.

“What a gutless slur David Koch regards (sic) “white Australia policy”and Mick Malthouse,” Shaw wrote.

“He was talking about a (one)football game not endorsing a racist policy akin to apartheid.”

Shaw wasn’t the only prominent football voice to opine that Koch had gone too far in hitting back at Malthouse.

Veteran AFL commentator Stephen Quartermain also chimed in on Twitter, saying that while he supported Port Adelaide trying to earn business and further the game overseas, drawing a connection to the White Australia policy was ‘unedifying’.

“I couldn’t care less whether @PAFC plays in China or not,” Quartermain wrote.

“Good luck to them if they make a few bucks.

“But Chairman David Koch’s comments about Mick Malthouse were unedifying.”

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It was Malthouse’s comments in a Herald Sun interview late last week which kicked off the saga.

Discussing the path to a return to footy amid the coronavirus pandemic, Malthouse said even if international travel was permitted, the notion the China game could continue into the future was unrealistic.

"I've never made any issues about the Chinese," he said.

"The fact is the virus has come from China, there's no denying that.

"It was the way it has come to the world, the way it has tried to be hidden by a communist regime."