David Koch, known jokester and rapscallion of Australian breakfast television, left his Sunrise co-hosts stunned this morning after making a very weird reference to slavery in regards to Central Coast Mariners trialist Usain Bolt.
Discussing a Maltese club’s reported interest in the former sprinter after a dominant showing in a pre-season match, the panel touched on the payout the Central Coast Mariners could expect to receive for the Jamaican star.
“It’s a win-win,” said the show’s longtime sports panellist Mark Beretta.
“You keep him, great. You sell him, so be it. That’s the tough world of professional football,” he added.
After mulling the intricacies of professional sporting contracts in his head for a moment, Koch made his fateful analogy.
“Who said slavery was over. Anyway. No,” he uttered, before quickly throwing to another segment. Beretta, along with co-hosts Natalie Barr and Samantha Armytage, could only look on in bewildered silence.
"Who said slavery was over?"— Weh Yeoh (@wmyeoh) October 15, 2018
This is what Kochie had to say about the transfer of one of the world's greatest athletes, Usain Bolt, on Sunrise this morning. #sun7
The comment was seized upon by a few viewers, who took to social media to express their disbelief.
Did Koshi just use the word "slavery" ???? after talking about Mariners Usain Bolt possibility of UK soccer interests wanting him to play in UK? @sunriseon7 Nat's stunned facial expression suggests yes!— BobbieAnt (@bobbieskates) October 15, 2018
The comment comes not long after the Australian media watchdog called out Sunrise for a fateful panel discussing the separation of Indigenous Australian children from their families, which was deemed to have breach broadcast guidelines.
The segment also appeared flawed on a technical level.
Bolt only agreed to an extended training period with the club, which is yet to sign him on for a professional contract to take him into the A-League season. That suggests that if the Mariners don’t secure his services with a contract at the end of the training period, any club would be able to sign Bolt without paying the Mariners.
FWIW, it appears unlikely the Mariners will keep Bolt on at the end of the trial period, despite his two-goal haul against Macarthur South West United; if that’s the case, old mate will be free to pick up any contract that comes his way, which doesn’t exactly scream “slavery.”
There’s a lot to be said about the often brutal world of contract negotiations and transfers in the realm of professional football, but, uh, look: referencing slavery in relation to Bolt ain’t the way to do it, “joke” or not.
For your consideration, the worst page of literature ever penned: The intro to Kochie's Best Jokes Vol.2— Liam Ryan (@liamoryan) October 14, 2018
(1 part innocent preamble, 3 parts insane life coach manifesto) pic.twitter.com/sRgeSe5YkU
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Image: Sunrise / 7 Plus