Thursday, August 23, 2018 10:54:48 PM
Australian Ex-Football Player in Hot Water over Anti-Muslim Comments

Australian sports commentator and former Aussie rules football player Sam Newman has been lashed on social media following his comments on Muslim migrants, who he said have “colonized” the continent.

Talking on his weekly Australian Football League (AFL) podcast on Wednesday, Newman slammed the league for staging a show of solidarity last week in response to an inflammatory speech in parliament by Senator Fraser Anning.

The lawmaker had called for a ban on Muslim immigration and a return to the White Australia policy.

Last Friday, the AFL’s highest-profile Muslim players Adam Saad and Bachar Houli hugged each other in a display of multicultural inclusion before the coin toss ahead of the Essendon-Richmond clash in Melbourne.

“They [Muslims] don’t generally nationalize, they colonize,” Newman said, adding that the Muslim community doesn’t share common values with Australian society.

“There are 600,000 Muslims in Australia, they share no common interest with what we’re on about. They have no common values, they preach to a different, deity, god. This has been a huge problem in Europe and it’s beginning to be a huge problem in America,” he said.

His inflammatory comments triggered public outcry on social media, with many users accusing the former AFL star of racism and discrimination.

“That the sight of two Australian #Muslim men hugging on a footy field as a sign of love, unity and peace would be seen as a threat by Sam Newman shows you the underbelly of racism & bigotry in our nation that is alive and well. We remember what he did to Nicky Winmar too. Trash,” wrote Kon Karapanagiotidis on his Twitter account.

Some internet users wrote that they “don’t share Newman’s common values,” adding that Newman had “confirmed his bigotry” by attacking Muslim Australians. 

“Dear Sam Newman, I'm a Muslim Australian & proud Geelong supporter. As a kid I idolised you. I remember watching you run out for your 300th game for .@GeelongCats & I was thrilled. I thought we shared a common interest. Suffice to say I'm saddened for you,” wrote Ahmed Bise.

“I’m not a Muslim and I share no common values with Sam Newman and I have no idea what he is on about half the time. He adds no value to the Australian or AFL communities,” read a tweet by Dragonet.

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