Newman picks a fight with AFL ‘loser’
Sam Newman has hit back at former AFL star Heritier Lumumba after he accused the footy great and media personality of not seeing black people as "human".
In his podcast You Can't Be Serious, Newman called George Floyd - the man who was killed in Minneapolis when a police officer pressed his knee onto his neck for nearly nine minutes - a "piece of s***".
Newman said the police treatment of Floyd was "disgraceful" but urged people not to put the 46-year-old up on a pedestal because of his criminal history and prior arrests, and also questioned why AFL players were kneeling in protest over something that happened in America.
In response, Lumumba - who claims he was subject to "racist jokes" during his time at Collingwood - tweeted: "Sam Newman is doing exactly what he has always done. He is consistent with his bigotry, unwavering with his prejudice, and unapologetic with his tone deafness.
"He is one of the reasons why I ALWAYS refused to appear on the Footy Show.
"Unsurprisingly, Newman's comments re: George Floyd show that (he) doesn't have a clue about what the #BlackLivesMatter is about. ANY black victim of extrajudicial execution by police or vigilantes deserves recognition by the BLM movement, as they are human beings, first and foremost.
"George Floyd's criminal past shouldn't disqualify him from being seen as a human being first. Police aren't conducting background checks before shooting, beating or kneeling on the necks of black people. Why? Because they don't see us as human. Newman doesn't sees us as human."
Newman, who was a mainstay on the Channel 9 Footy Show since 1994 before farewelling the program in 2018, lashed out at Heritier after seeing his criticism and reasoning for not appearing on the program.
"Stop pulling your d*** Harry, you were never asked to come on the Footy Show. We didn't invite losers," he tweeted.
Newman also doubled down on his belief AFL players don't know why they're kneeling before games as part of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Last weekendthe 74-year-old took to social media, telling players to "stop the preening" and in his podcast accused footy stars of being ignorant to the origins of what they're protesting against.
Former Gold Coast Suns star Joel Wilkinson, who says he experienced racism within the AFL, blasted the league's interest in the Black Lives Matter movement for being "hypocritical and offensive to me, and many in the black community, given my personal experience in what I consider a deeply racist institution".
Newman responded to Wilkinson's comments on Twitter, writing: "This is EXACTLY what I said about players not knowing why they were kneeling. It was about police brutality in America."
Newman was to play a role with the Sunday Footy Show this season but earlier in the week, it was announced he and Channel 9 had "mutually" agreed to part ways following the backlash to his comments about Floyd.
"Sam Newman announced today that he would no longer appear on Nine. The decision was made mutually and amicably," a statement from Channel 9 read.
"We thank Sam for his service with Nine over several decades. His contribution to The Footy Show was paramount to the enormous ratings success the show enjoyed over many years."
Despite Newman agreeing to split with Nine, he doesn't believe anything he said about Floyd was wrong.
"How in God's name could you say that was controversial what I said about him?" Newman told the Herald Sun.
"I could have easily said, and probably should have if I had known it was going to be reported verbatim, that he is of unsavoury character.
"The point is why we are making a martyr out of George Floyd? We should be condemning the police brutality.
"What I said about him is absolutely accurate."
Originally published as Newman picks a fight with AFL 'loser'