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Sam Newman faces calls to be booted from AFL Hall of Fame for telling people to boo Welcome to Country

Sam Newman faces calls to be booted from AFL Hall of Fame for telling people to boo Welcome to Country

More than 12,000 people have signed a petition to get him kicked out.

Calls are growing to have Sam Newman removed from the AFL Hall of Fame for telling crowds to boo the Welcome to Country.

A petition is circulating on the internet, which, at the time of writing, more than 12,000 people have signed.

The campaign says that the former AFL player has a ‘history of unacceptable behaviour’, particularly for racist comments.

“That he feels the indigenous Welcome Ceremonies are overdone, or political, or unnecessary, is a matter of his opinion and he's entitled to express that opinion, but for him to encourage people to boo the ceremony or slow clap during the ceremony is his attempt to disrupt the ceremony, and to disrespect the ceremony (like it or not) - it's nothing more than another divisive act from him - it's in no way acceptable, and contravenes AFL policy,” it continues.

Sam Tabone/Getty Images

It added that for a person to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, they must be of ‘good character’.

“It is time the AFL showed support (as they purport to do) for those he has continually disrespected with his disgusting comments, and for the AFL to take action and remove him from the Hall of Fame - an honour he is not worthy of,” the petition concluded.

Last week, the 77-year-old faced significant backlash after an episode of his podcast You Cannot Be Serious.

Newman, a clear opponent of the ‘Yes Campaign’, slammed the AFL for promoting what he believes is ‘virtuous, patronising nonsense’ while claiming that acknowledging the traditional owners causes further division in this country.

He then encouraged crowds to boo the recognition of the Traditional Custodians of this land.

Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

“What about this, next time you go to a public event like the Grand Final or a football game or any public event in an auditorium and they trot out the Welcome to Country, start booing … or slow hand clapping," he said.

However, it seems that Newman’s message fell on deaf ears, as more than 90,000 fans embraced the Welcome to Country before the game between Collingwood and GWS in the Preliminary Final.

Newman has since doubled down on his inflammatory remarks while speaking to 3AW.

When asked by host Tony Jones if he thought his comments would ‘incite violence’, the podcaster insisted that many Australians were sick of being told how to live their lives.

“My statement on the podcast was a provocative suggestion that people push back on this nonsense,” Newman added.

Featured Image Credit: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images. Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Topics: Australia