Former The Footy Show host and known gronk Sam Newman has faced reprisals for, once again, punching down on a marginalised community. This time around, it’s athletes who are transgender.
Earlier this week, Newman joined journalist Michael Sheahan and Saint Kilda Football Club head coach Grant Thomas to film a weird-ass video openly mocking sportspeople who have competed after a gender transition.
Newman, sporting some cosmetics and a scarf, told Thomas and Sheahan he was intending to compete in organised sports as a woman.
“I think I’ve run my race as an older male, and I’m thinking of transitioning,” Newman said.
“I’m going to clean up on world titles as a woman,” the former Geelong player added.
Newman joked his partner was in the process of her own transition, meaning their relationship was “still man and woman.”
The clip sparked a pretty instantaneous reaction from basically everyone tired of watching Newman get his jollies by being a punish, and the video was also stricken from Newman’s Twitter account.
Hannah Mouncey, a transgender footballer who has long battled misconceptions that trans athletes have an unfair advantage over their cisgender counterparts, yesterday targeted Newman and the take peddled in the video.
Follow through and sue me then @Origsmartassam because I think you’re an embarrassment and a fool. For someone who says he learned something after how he spoke about Caitlyn Jenner on TV, there are no words. Just accept it and don’t try and talk your way out of it this time https://t.co/KNSicSMk17
— Hannah Mouncey 🤾♀️ (@HannahMouncey) March 4, 2019
Speaking to 3AW, veteran sports journalist Caroline Wilson said Newman is “sadly out of touch… when anything to do with that community is discussed, when homosexuality is discussed, when racism is discussed.”
Today, Dr Ryan Storr – co-founder of Proud2Play, an organisation which advocates for LGBTQIA+ inclusion in community sports – said Newman was a “bully” and “out of touch”, and that his comments were “disgusting, disrespectful + damaging.”
For his part, Thomas issued an apology for his part in the video.
I apologise unreservedly to everyone, especially those offended. As a first step I’ve requested Sam remove the video to avoid any further impact on the community. To be clear, this does not have anything to do with Up. I unconditionally support people of all diversities.
— Grant Thomas (@Thomo_Grant) March 5, 2019
Newman, however, has doubled down on his assertion that transgender athletes have a distinct edge – and the demonstrably false assertion that they are dominating their cisgendered competitors.
It’s not a surprising take from a man who has a long bloody history of demeaning members of the LGBTQIA+ community, but there you go. Another day at the bullshit factory.