Controversial former Footy Show host Sam Newman has slammed the new Adam Goodes documentary as ‘grovelling’ and ‘fake news’ – despite not yet watching it.
The Final Quarter explores the champion Sydney Swans player’s final years in the AFL, which were marred by persistent booing.
The jeers began after he called out a 13-year-old girl who labelled him an ‘ape’ from the stands during a 2013 match.
They continued for years and intensified when he performed an Indigenous dance during a game in 2015.
The taunts resulted in the dual Brownlow Medallist quitting the AFL sooner than expected.
‘It’s not a comfortable thing to talk about, it’s definitely not a comfortable thing to go through,’ Goodes says in the documentary’s trailer.
‘I’ve decided to stand up, and I’ll continue to stand up.’
Newman on Monday called out Goodes’ documentary claiming that the booing directed towards him was not racist.
‘Criticising someone from another race – doesn’t make you a racist,’ Newman wrote on Twitter.
‘The groveling doco by Sharks**t Productions ”The Final Quarter”, should be ”The Last Straw”. Adam Goodes initially was booed for taunting Carlton fans. Racist? So be it. #racism #fakenews.’
Entertainment reporter Peter Ford challenged Newman to watch the film in a private screening, which he agreed to.
At the time of the booing, the AFL Players’ Association released a statement, calling for an immediate end to the attacks on Goodes, which they say ‘should be condemned for what they are – racism.’
‘We believe that Adam has been vilified for calling out racism, for expressing his views on Aboriginal issues, and for celebrating and promoting his proud cultural background.
‘This is not something for which Adam should be vilified – it is something for which he should be celebrated.’
‘This is not only having a significant impact on Adam, but on other players, who see the vilification of Adam as racist in nature.
‘Whatever were the initial motivations of those choosing to vilify Adam, it is his view and ours that it is racist in nature and that it has to stop.’
Newman publicly called out Goodes on The Footy Show back in 2015 saying he was booed for his miming of throwing a spear in the direction of the Carlton cheer squad, not because of his race.
‘From one Australian to another Australian – I’m an Australian so is Adam Goodes – Adam you’re not important as you think you are and you take yourself far too seriously,’ Newman said on Channel Nine’s Footy Show.
‘If you’re going to provoke people by the gesture of spear-throwing at a crowd, you better not be surprised if you get what you wish for and that’s a reaction.
‘Unfortunately you’re not well-enough equipped to deal with fracas and the saga that you’ve caused.
‘You’re just not capable of dealing with it, hence the fact you’ve gone into hiding, you’re not playing anymore.
‘It is on you as an Australian of the Year to unite and placate people, not to divide and be a provocateur.
‘How about the condescending nature of people who say if you’re an AFL fan and you go to the football and you boo Adam Goodes you’re a racist. How gratuitously stupid is that?
‘I would suggest that the people boo Adam Goodes because he has turned their game into a political forum and people go to the football to get away from everything as a release, as an outlet and they don’t want to have to put up with a political statement.’
Before the film’s release, all 18 AFL clubs apologised ‘unreservedly for our failures’ for Goodes’ treatment.
‘The treatment of Adam challenges us, and our right to be considered Australia’s indigenous football code. Adam, who represents so much that is good and unique about our game, was subject to treatment that drove him from football. The game did not do enough to stand with him and call it out,’ the statement read.
‘We apologise unreservedly for our failures during this period.
‘Failure to call out racism and not standing up for one of our own let down all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players, past and present.
‘Our game is about belonging. We want all Australians to feel they belong and that they have a stake in the game. We will not achieve this while racism and discrimination exists in our game.