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Sam Newman has been widely condemned after allegedly referring to US President-elect Joe Biden as “mentally retarded”.
In a since-deleted tweet, the 74-year-old former AFL player reportedly took aim at Biden.
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“Great day for inclusion and diversity,” the former AFL Footy Show panelist reportedly wrote.
“Shows someone who is mentally retarded and has special needs, can attain high office.
“Congratulations, Joe Biden.”
Sam Newman really is the pits .... And screen shots do not lie. pic.twitter.com/WsEic6NJqM
— Ssymo811 (@bombers__43) November 8, 2020
Screenshots of the alleged tweet have been widely circulated on social media, with Twitter users savaging Newman as “vile” and “disgusting”.
Aussie wheelchair tennis champion Dylan Alcott wrote: “To the people forwarding me the Sam Newman tweet, please don’t.
“He is the lowest of the low. His disgusting hate speech doesn’t deserve my or anyone else’s time.”
Another user wrote: “Never forget the kind of person Sam Newman is. You may have deleted it Sam, but the internet doesn’t forget.”
And a third wrote: “Just saw the tweet Sam Newman had written about Joe Biden... @TwitterSupport Please ban Sam Newman.”
Also, to the people forwarding me the Sam Newman tweet, please don’t. He is the lowest of the low. His disgusting hate speech doesn’t deserve my or anyone else’s time
— Dylan Alcott (@DylanAlcott) November 8, 2020
Never forget the kind of person Sam Newman is. You may have deleted it Sam, but the internet doesn’t forget. pic.twitter.com/ioQjFunFsL
— jedstur™ 🍩 (@jedstur) November 8, 2020
Twitter needs to remove Sam Newman pic.twitter.com/CA3ezL5vqj
— Hyacinth Bucket 64 JenRed (@64Hyacinth) November 8, 2020
I'm not going to disseminate Sam Newman's disgusting Joe Biden tweet because it's just plain offensive. Suffice it to say anybody associating themselves with this man should be absolutely ashamed. #auspol
— Left in Limbo (@Left_in_Limbo) November 8, 2020
He is a real ornament to society, Sam Newman.
But apparently even he quickly realised he overstepped the mark and deleted his disgusting tweet.#auspol https://t.co/wJW3BAOVIl pic.twitter.com/JyIQPnH9Yz
— Masked Observer 😷😷Moving to covid-normal 🇦🇺🌏 (@WeTheVoters2013) November 8, 2020
Dear @Twitter @TwitterSupport, this vile and hateful troll Sam Newman spreads hatred, bigotry, discrimination & toxic bile on your platform. He should be banned from Twitter & have his blue tick rescinded. Please do something. We have had enough of people spreading hate & lies. https://t.co/Pj3pJrqDIX
— Bethany Williams (@BethanyinCBR) November 8, 2020
Some have even called for Geelong to revoke Newman’s life membership at the club.
Newman later responded to the criticism, tweeting: “Thank you for the outpouring of advice, and your interest in what I do/say. Very much appreciated.
“There is a reason I deleted the tweet about Joey Biden - but probably not the one you think.”
Thank you for the outpouring of advice, and your interest in what I do/say. Very much appreciated. There is a reason I deleted the tweet about Joey Biden - but probably not the one you think.
— Sam Newman (@Origsmartassam) November 8, 2020
He also responded to criticism from Aussie Paralympian Jodi Willis-Roberts that he should “choose his words more wisely”.
“I did choose them wisely. I said he was retarded, mentally,” Newman wrote.
Thank you. I did choose them wisely. I said he was retarded, mentally.
— Sam Newman (@Origsmartassam) November 8, 2020
Newman played 300 AFL games for Geelong from 1964 to 1980, captaining the club and winning two best and fairest awards.
He was inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame in 2002, however his post-footy career has been littered with controversies.
Joe Biden working on White House transition
Meanwhile, Democrat Biden and his advisers are working on how to address the nation’s coronavirus crisis while reinforcing his intention to bridge America’s gaping political divisions.
Republican Donald Trump, the first incumbent president to lose a re-election bid in 28 years, gave no sign of conceding as his campaign pressed ahead with legal fights against the outcome.
Illustrating the uphill battle Biden faces after taking office on January 20 in working with lawmakers from Trump’s party, the top Republicans in Congress on Sunday still had not acknowledged the former vice president as the winner.
In a speech in his home state of Delaware on Saturday, Biden delivered a message of unity and conciliation, declaring that it is “time to heal” the nation and reaching out to Americans who voted for Trump and to congressional Republicans.
“The work starts right away,” Biden Deputy Campaign Manager Kate Bedingfield said on Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press program.
Biden on Saturday made clear that tackling the pandemic was a top priority.
Bedingfield said Biden planned to launch a coronavirus task force on Monday to plot the way forward, led by former surgeon general Vivek Murthy and former Food and Drug Administration commissioner David Kessler.
More than 237,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 and coronavirus cases have spiked to record numbers in recent days.
Biden made his criticism of Trump's disjointed response to the pandemic a centrepiece of his campaign.
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