A reported six-figure sum will be paid to AFL and St Kilda legend Nicky Winmar, after he settled his legal dispute against Sam Newman and podcast co-hosts Mike Sheahan and Don Scott.
Winmar and photographer Wayne Ludbey brought the potential action against the trio after an episode of their podcast in which they suggested Winmar’s iconic gesture against racism at Victoria Park in 1993 was instead merely a reference to his team’s ‘guts’.
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The settlement will be donated to an Indigenous charity, the Herald Sun reports.
After several hours of mediation both parties emerged, with Newman offering a terse ‘Oh what do you reckon?’ when asked if the matter had been put to bed.
An apology from Newman, Sheahan and Scott was published a short time later.
“During our 23 June 2020 podcast, we talked about Nicky lifting his jumper and pointing to his skin at the end of the 1993 Collingwood and St Kilda match during which he had been racially abused,” the apology read.
“Any suggestion otherwise was wrong. We have reflected deeply on the issues.
“We accept what was said during the podcast has damaged Nicky’s reputation. We understand many people would regard what we said as racially discriminatory of Nicky and Indigenous Australians.
“For all these reasons, we sincerely apologise to Nicky Winmar and to Indigenous Australians generally.”
The mediation was conducted by Indigenous journalist Stan Grant and former Federal Court judge Raymond Finkelstein.
Nicky Winmar settles action against Sam Newman
Newman and Scott arrived at the Melbourne mediation together, wearing masks, while Sheahan, who quit the podcast after the backlash the show copped, arrived seperately.
When Winmar arrived for mediation, he told reporters he was thankful for the support he’s received since the podcast was first published.
“I just wanna say I’m black and I’m proud and I want to thank the rest of Australia for supporting this,” he said.
I was very disappointed (with the comments). It’s been a very emotional last few weeks.
“I believe in what I said.”
Sheahan had earlier made an apology on a later episode of the podcast, revealing his comments about Winmar had seen him lose considerable respect in certain AFL circles.
“The thing that worried me most is I definitely did hurt some people who I regard as football friends. Indigenous people, indigenous players, who I have a healthy relationship with, they were hurt and angry,” Sheahan said.
“Adam Goodes rang me and was clearly hurt and a little angry about what I’ve said. Mick O’Loughlin and I spoke.
“I don’t like unnecessarily hurting people. I’m speaking for me here. I think I see myself through their eyes as attacking an Aboriginal monument in football.
“I genuinely feel they were hurt by what I said.
“This is the forum where we discussed the issue initially and this is the forum where I should say I’m sorry for the pain I’ve caused you guys.”