Greg Norman says the deadly bushfire crisis that has devastated communities across Australia cuts to his core and 'exposes the stupidity of mankind".
Shattered by the lives lost and the destruction the fires have brought down on Australia, the Aussie golfing great has been compelled to speak out.
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In a lengthy statement on his Twitter account, the 64-year-old two-time major winner paid tribute to all those affected by the fires - from victims, to firefighters, to the countless wildlife that has been destroyed by the unprecedented tragedy.
“I apologize for the length of this post and commentary from afar but seeing these images of death and destruction, the strength of the human spirit, the pure heartache and tragedy the people of Australia have endured cuts to my core and to be brutally honest exposes the stupidity of mankind,” Norman posted on his Twitter account.
“I am no expert, but I am a global observer, of course, there is climate change taking place. It is happening worldwide. Australia is just one example.
“To the families who have lost loved ones and those who have lost property, to the fire fighters, domestic and international, who risk their own lives for those of others, the volunteers, the local burghers who try to fight these monster infernos with a garden hose to save their property and animals, my thoughts, heart, prayers and every cell of strength I have floods your way.
“To the powers to be who make decisions, wake up, open your eyes and absorb these horrific images and ask yourselves a few very simple questions, because we must learn from this cataclysmic disaster.”
Norman went on to offer solutions for the future prevention of such a crisis - insisting Australia should adopt similar strategies to those in the United States.
He also urged our leaders to seek greater consultation with Indigenous Australians, considering they are the original custodians of our land.
“1) Procedures, protocols and preparations,” Norman wrote.
“What lessons have been learnt? What must be adjusted or what new should be implemented? This will happen again. Let’s not kick the can down the road.
“2) Should there be a National Fire Service? Not each State being responsible for their own. Australia is on fire!
“3) Burn back. With the animal death toll approaching 1 BILLION would control burn backs in winter months help reduce this carnage? Seek the advice of Australian Aboriginals. They have been the custodians and carers of our land for over 50,000 years.
“4) maybe a refresh to the 2006 agreement between America and Australia on bushfire/wildlife cooperation.
“Fires happen in America as well and there are approx 25 firebombers in the USA. Learn and support. We must ALL help prevent this magnitude of ugliness from returning and NOT continue to operate with the mentality of suppression vs prevention!”
I apologize for the length of this post and commentary from afar but seeing these images of death and destruction, the strength of the human spirit, the pure heartache and tragedy the people of Australia have endured cuts to my core and to be brutally honest exposes the stupidity pic.twitter.com/GpXyfddWQv
— Greg Norman (@SharkGregNorman) January 6, 2020
Shane Warne among sports stars raising bushfire funds
Norman's message comes amid a raft of support in the sporting community to raise funds for those affected by the bushfire crisis.
Shane Warne is among the list of Aussie sporting celebrities to get involved, with the cricket great auctioning off his treasured Australian Baggy Green cap.
The cap, which Warne wore throughout his decorated Test career, will come with an autographed certificate of authenticity.
The website hosting the auction crashed soon after due to the massive amount of fans looking to place a bid.
— Fox Cricket (@FoxCricket) January 6, 2020
The prized piece of sporting memorabilia has so far raised more than $315,000 since being put up for auction, with all proceeds going to the bushfire appeal.
Warne’s gesture is the latest in an outpouring of support from Australian athletes in particular, which was kicked off when Nick Kyrgios announced he would donate $200 for every ace he hits during the summer.
Australia’s cricketers have also gotten in on the act.
Fast bowlers Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson, Pat Cummins are donating $1000 for every wicket they take this summer, while Brisbane Heat slogger Chris Lynn has pledged $250 for every six he hits in the Big Bash League this season.
Lynn’s pledge was soon matched by Melbourne Stars counterpart Glenn Maxwell.
Ash Barty has pledged to donate all her winnings from the Brisbane International this week, which could tally $360,000 should she win the tournament.