Just when you thought the Eddie McGuire mess might be ready to go back to where it came from, the host of the flagship AFL TV program has waded in.
Sam Newman. Always Sam Newman. As unhelpful, backwards, angry and awkward as he's ever been, Newman's take on McGuire's "joke" about drowning a female football journalist proves exactly why this was such an outrageous situation to begin with.
Wilson herself, and many others, have made their feelings clear: that this was a nasty situation that proves how far, regrettably, Australia's sporting boys club still has to come to actually get it.
Addressing the story on Channel Nine's AFL Footy Show on Wednesday night, Newman -- flanked by his visibly uncomfortable co hosts Rebecca Maddern and James Brayshaw (himself involved in the original McGuire broadcast) -- delivered an aggressive tirade to the camera, directed squarely at Wilson. As if this whole thing is somehow her fault.
"If you're going to want to be treated equally the point is -- don't complain when it's too equal," Newman said.
"The jig's up, Caro. Honestly and truly. You're becoming an embarrassment. And even if you were underwater, you'd still be talking."
It would be easy to dismiss Newman's comments as quintessentially Sam Newmanian. But that would be a mistake. Not only is he missing the point, entirely, but his nationally broadcasted opinion risks legitimising the "joke" in the first place.
Let's take a step back for a moment and look back at exactly what McGuire said. The Collingwood Football Club president, referencing a charity waterslide event in which he had participated, joked that Caroline Wilson should be held underwater.
"In fact I reckon we should start the campaign for a one-person slide next year. Caroline Wilson. And I'll put in ten grand straight away, make it twenty. And if she stays under, fifty. What do you reckon guys?" McGuire says at one point."
Newman doesn't address McGuire's comments, he addresses the comments about the comments.
"Those excrement who have weighed into this -- I'd like to mention their names, but as nobody reads or listens to them because they're on second tier media outlets I won't bother. But if you spray excrement with perfume or put aftershave on a piece of excrement, at the end of the day, it's still a piece of excrement."
Newman didn't mention domestic violence. McGuire even conceded that his so-called "joke" was extremely unhelpful in the context of Australia's rampant culture of domestic violence. The consensus this week is pretty simple: joking about drowning a woman isn't OK.
Thankfully, Maddern intervened with some good measure.
"I want to say, from my perspective, that when I heard this on the radio, it did actually make me feel uncomfortable. As a woman. As a person. Take it however you like it," she said. "If it was said about me, I must admit, that I would have been pretty upset by it."
Sam Newman has weighed in on Eddie McGuire, telling Caroline Wilson: "Even if you were underwater you'd still be talking".— Lisa Wilkinson (@Lisa_Wilkinson) June 22, 2016
Wiping tears of hilarity after hearing that Sam Newman has accused Caro Wilson of "becoming an embarrassment". #ironyisdead— Annabel Crabb (@annabelcrabb) June 22, 2016
Most people were. If Sam Newman's more upset by the reaction to the comments than the comments themselves, then he doesn't get it. And probably never will.Suggest a correction