Sam Newman explodes at AFL, Eddie McGuire bites back
OUTSPOKEN Footy Show host Sam Newman has exploded at the AFL in an impassioned rant after publicly announcing their support for same-sex marriage.
Newman, who is never shy about letting his opinion be heard, claimed the AFL had "no right" to get involved in political messages and tell footy fans what to vote for.
"Before I start this, I know it's going to get hijacked (by) the predictable people who will say what it's not," he said. "But if this was about the AFL putting 'yes' on the football about climate change, or save the whales, or greenhouse emissions or whatever, I would have exactly the same opinion. The very fact it's about the Yes vote for gay marriage is irrelevant, so please don't hijack this into somethig it's not.
"But who in the hell are these people at the AFL who are telling the football public what they should do in their lives and who they should vote for in any political agenda - who are you? Who gives you the right to tell people and to put what people should do on the football."
Newman broke out into a shout as he pulled out a copy of the same-sex marriage voting form.
"For god's sake, there's a plebiscite going on in the country! What right have you got to say what people should be doing?
"You are nothing more than obsequious, fawning, sycophantic political whores. You have no right to get involved in political messages. Let people go to the football and do what they want to do: just watch the game."
The crowd gave a massive cheer in favour of Newman's rant, but the former Geelong star wasn't finished yet.
"Keep your contrived and conflicted snouts out of people's lives and let people do what they want to do," he said. "It's a release to go to the football. All you're doing is virtue signalling and making yourself look grand when your overpaid executives make decisions on behalf of no-one."
Host Eddie McGuire butted in with a rebuttal to Newman's two-minute spray, taking his co-worker to task.
"Okay, you've had a good go," McGuire said as Newman fumed. "Now, let me put a counter to you. There's an old saying 'if you don't stand for something you stand for nothing'.
"What we have in our world at the moment, Sam, is a leadership vacuum with politicians who don't do anything unless there's a vote in it. We have media who are running agendas to get whatever they want. We've got churches have completely lost any credibility in what they stand for. But the AFL is an organisation that people do look to."
McGuire said he agreed with Newman's stance on the AFL pushing political agendas but said they had the right to express their opinion.
"If you put to the AFL: 'Do you stand for discrimination?', they'd put 'no' up on the wall," McGuire said. "Because the AFL stands by 'it's not what you are, it's who you are'."
Newman said the AFL had no business in the matter and said its only job was to "run the game". But Eddie wasn't having a bar of it.
"If you're a 14 or 15-year-old and you're gay, you can come to a football club and be a part of it," he said. "It's just saying they are welcoming equality."
Host Rebecca Maddern tried diffusing the awkward exchange, but Newman butted in over the applauding crowd.
"Shut up, Ed," he said. "It's nothing about gays, it's about political agendas and the AFL has no right to tell people (what to do)."