Footy fans have sent a blunt message to Sam Newman after cheering and applauding at the “Welcome to Country” ceremony at the AFL preliminary finals.
Newman had urged fans to boo ceremonies at football games and public gatherings, while suggesting that people should “clap slowly” instead.
The Gabba in Brisbane was packed on Saturday evening as fans turned up to watch the Lions’ game against Carlton.
Before kicking off, well-known Indigenous cultural speaker Shannon Ruska delivered the “Welcome to Country” introduction.
He then asked the crowd to sing along to the “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi” chant.
Fans (pictured) at the AFL preliminary final between the Brisbane Lions and Carlton on Saturday rejected calls from soccer star Sam Newman to boo the Indigenous people’s “Welcome to Country” ceremonies
“Now there is a song, because we have 300 Aboriginal nations, we can’t all speak the same language, but we can sing a song that I think brings us all together,” Mr Ruska said.
“These are now the Australian Rules. So has anyone heard the chant ‘Aussie Aussie’?”
The fans eagerly joined in the singing and loud cries of “Oi, Oi, Oi” filled the stadium.
Prior to kickoff, prominent Indigenous cultural speaker Shannon Ruska delivered the Welcome to Country ceremony
The tumultuous reception to the Welcome to Country did not go unnoticed, with many taking the opportunity to lambast Newman online for his failed attempt to avoid the ceremony.
‘The best Welcome to Country at the Gabba.’ Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Ou, Oi, Oi!’ one tweeted.
“Did I miss the slow clapping and booing that Sam Newman called for?” “That seemed pretty unifying to me,” said another.
“Well that should keep Sam Newman simmering for another week,” wrote one.
“Welcome to Country” starts off like fireworks at the Gabba, not a single boo, ends with Aussie, Aussie, Aussie and huge cheers. “Thanks Sam Newman, you’re bang on,” said one footy fan.
“This is a welcome to a country that unites rather than divides,” said another, pointing out that the players smiled at the reception.
The tumultuous reception to the Welcome to Country did not go unnoticed, with many taking the opportunity to lambast Newman online for his failed attempt to avoid the ceremony
Newman, a former Collingwood ruckman turned media star, gave his opinion on the traditional ceremony on his You Cannot Be Serious podcast this week.
“The next time you go to a public event, like the grand final or a football match or any other public event, and they chant the welcome to the country, start booing,” he said.
His comments were met with backlash from several people, including Senator Lidia Thorpe, who hit out at the former footballer and said Welcome to Country was about peace and bringing people together.
“Sam Newman, I’m not sure why he’s even in the news.” “He’s irrelevant to any debate of the time,” she said on Nine’s The Today Show on Thursday morning.
“It’s about peace.” The whole message behind it is respect.”
Newman doubled down in his speech on the Opposition Podcast, claiming the ceremony had divided people over race.
“Are we tired of this?” I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. “I find it insulting and demeaning to be welcomed into a country where I live,” Newman said on the podcast.
AFL star Sam Newman (pictured) encouraged people to boo “Welcome to Country” ceremonies at sporting events and public gatherings