Sunrise host David Koch has responded to criticism of a joke he unloaded on the air this morning, saying he probably should have explained his viewpoint better – instead of implying that A-League hopeful Usain Bolt is effectively owned by whoever holds his professional contract.
Koch faced viewer condemnation – and the stunned silence of his co-hosts – after likening the Jamaican star’s potential transfer to a European club as a form of indentured servitude.
Well, that’s putting it politely. Discussing the likelihood of the Central Coast Mariners ditching Project Bolt after his pre-season trial period, Koch said “who said slavery was over?”
Taking to Twitter this afternoon, the longtime host apologised for the “clumsily” worded statement, but maintained “the use of the word slavery is a reference I’ve used to defend players who want to trade clubs or change jobs in Sport.”
Digging into more contentious territory, the breakfast show mainstay said “there’s no slavery any more.” Which, uh, is claim in dire need of a citation.
1/2 On @sunriseon7 this We were talking about how good it is for Bolt and the Mariners at news he was getting offers from European clubs.— David Koch (@kochie_online) October 16, 2018
Basically the use of the word slavery is a reference I’ve used to defend players who want to trade clubs or change jobs in Sport…
2/2 that you can’t keep them… it’s a free world. There’s no slavery any more. People have rights.— David Koch (@kochie_online) October 16, 2018
I admit it was clumsily put this morning when talking about Bolt shifting clubs so early and I should have explained it better.
That bold assertion has led to social media users sharing information about human trafficking, a very real thing which still happens on an endemic scale.
Even keeping the focus on football, Qatar has been heavily criticised employing labour practices barely better than keeping workers in chains in the lead-up to the 2022 World Cup.
The nation vowed to end its exploitative kafala migrant worker practices this year, after accusations that nearly 1,200 workers had died building the stadiums which will host the planet’s premiere sporting event.
But here we are, unpacking the multiple layers of wrongness surrounding a morning show host’s wildly dodgy take.